India-U.S. Investment Must Increase in Both Directions, Says Ambassador

Indian ambassador Arun Singh

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The U.S.-India partnership is enjoying a historic high, but investment must increase in both directions, said Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Arun Kumar Singh on July 24, during a press conference at the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple here. Singh – who took on the post in May after serving for two years as India’s ambassador in France – noted that 100 Indian companies have invested $15 billion in the U.S., creating roughly 100,000 new jobs for Americans.

Infrastructure, mobile technology and renewable energy are three sectors ripe for U.S. investment in India, said Singh, adding that the country also offers great opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. As an example of Indian technology innovation, Singh pointed out that India was the fourth country to send a mission to Mars and did so at about 1/10th of the cost of a similar U.S. mission. India spent just $74 million to create the Mars Orbiter Mission – also known as Mangalyaan – less than the $100 million dollar budget for the movie “Gravity.” By contrast, NASA’s MAVEN Mars Orbiter cost $672 million. The successful mission was completed in October 2014.

“The India-U.S. relationship is very strong: this is the first time a U.S. president has visited India twice while in office,” said the ambassador. “Obama has said that the India-U.S. partnership is the defining relationship of the 21st century and has called for both countries to see what we can do for the rest of the world,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Singh joined a panel discussion on the future of India at the IIT Global Leadership Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. (http://bit.ly/1H78siH). At the talk, Singh said trade between India and the U.S. is poised to grow from $100 billion to $500 billion during the next decade. Chief among India’s interests are purchases in defense and aviation, said Singh, noting that India has already purchased $10 billion in military hardware from the U.S.

The new “Invest India” initiative promoted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration will figuratively hold the hands of U.S. businessmen hoping to invest in India, and help sort through bureaucratic hurdles, said Singh.

During the press conference, Singh said he would only address the U.S.-India relationship, thereby dodging predicted questions about the treatment of India’s minorities. The ambassador also would not comment on Modi’s upcoming visit to the San Francisco Bay Area this September, saying the prime minister’s trip had not yet been formally announced.

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