• Tuesday, November 30, 2021
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549

Business

Opportunities galore in India: Sitharaman to America Inc

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets Mastercard executive chairman Ajay Banga and CEO Michael Miebach, in New York on Saturday, October 17, 2021. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently touring the United States, has told the host country’s top corporate leaders that opportunities are galore in India for all investors and industry stakeholders with the reset in the global supply chain and a committed leadership in New Delhi.

Sitharaman, who reached New York on Friday (15) after visiting Washington DC where she took part in the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said in her address to global business leaders and investors at a roundtable organised by industry chamber FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on Saturday (16), “With the current reset in the global supply chain and clear-headed and committed leadership in India, I see opportunities galore in India for all investors and industry stakeholders.”

ALSO READ: Nirmala Sitharaman meets top Mastercard officials

She said start-ups in India have seen tremendous growth and many of them are now raising money through capital markets. In 2021 itself, more than 16 of them will qualify as unicorns, she added. Sitharaman also said that India has fully leveraged its potential of digitisation even during the most challenging times.

The finance ministry informed in a tweet that Sitharaman said at the roundtable that the role of technology in the financial sectors is enabling pushing the frontier of financial inclusion and fintechs are playing a key role in the area.

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The finance minister, who co-chaired the eighth ministerial meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue in DC with US treasury secretary Janet Yellen, met a number of top chief executives of the US, including Mastercard executive chairman Ajay Banga and chief executive officer Michael Miebach, FedEx Corporation president and chief operating officer Raj Subramanyam, Citi chief executive officer Jane Fraser and IBM chairman and chief executive officer Arvind Krishna, executive vice president and head of Prudential Financial, Inc’s International Businesses Scott Sleyster and Legatum chief investment officer Philip Vassiliou.

“The initiatives and progress towards financial inclusion and digital transformation formed part of discussion,” the finance ministry tweeted about Sitharaman’s meeting with Banga.

Following his meeting with Sitharaman, Banga said India is on a “great pathway and trajectory” with its continuing reforms and he can see great momentum.

“I’m particularly impressed by the production linked incentives that have been put into place,” he said, adding that they can make a big difference to the development of labour intensive industries in India. “I’m very hopeful that it’s not just one reform but the series of reforms that are continuing can keep guiding India on the trajectory,” Banga said, asserting that he is “constructively optimistic” about what India is doing.

Miebach shared Banga’s optimism and called his discussion with Sitharaman “very constructive”. He said MasterCard will continue to invest in India.

During Sitharaman’s interaction with Subramanyam, the finance ministry tweeted, “the recently launched initiative of National Infrastructure Master Plan #GatiShakti and India having 3rd largest start-up ecosystem & unicorn base formed part of discussion.”

Subramanyam said FedEx business in India is growing strong. “We are very bullish on India. The very fact that we have a global air network puts us in a considerable position to be able to help move COVID-19 related material into India when it was needed. We are looking forward, we are very bullish on where potential for India is, the fastest growing large economy and growing trade environment,” the FedEX chief executive said.

Citi’s commitment towards ‘Make In India’ and focus on digitisation and partnerships with fintechs towards digital transformation came up during the meeting between Sitharaman and the company’s chief executive Fraser, the finance ministry said in a tweet.

Fraser said Citi has a “very proud and very long history” in India. “We are delighted to see the strength of the recovery that’s happening on the ground there. Obviously there’s a lot of concerns around supply chain disruption at the moment but it’s around the world,” she said.

She said the digitisation that India has done is “truly impressive” and “it will be one of the major hubs of digital trade and digital services in the world and a standard-bearer going forward.”

“Fraser speaks about the strength of India’s economic recovery and how India will increasingly become an important destination of investment for multinational corporations looking to grow their operations,” the finance ministry tweeted.

Sitharaman discussed during her interactions with the corporate leaders reforms towards the capital bond market, investor charter and other initiatives with top Prudential official Sleyster, the finance ministry said.

“The robust structural growth and continued interest of the company to invest in India formed part of the discussion” between Sitharaman and Legatum chief investment officer Vassiliou, it said.

During her meeting with IBM leader Krishna, the tech giant’s “interest in India in the areas of hybrid cloud, automation, 5G, cybersecurity, data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) formed part of the discussion,” the ministry said on social media.

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