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Sibal makes a strong pitch for investment in India

Washington: Making a strong pitch for investments in the country, India has listed healthcare, IT and cyber security as the three key areas where it along with US could work together for mutual benefit.

If the US were to look from the east coast across the Atlantic for a country with which it could collaborate, then India would be that country for reasons more than one, Minister for HRD and Communications and IT Kapil Sibal.

He was speaking at a luncheon organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

India, he said, has everything that a nation like the US could ask for–democratic government, strong judiciary and absolute freedom.

CII president, Adi Godrej, who is leading a high-level CEOs` delegation to the US as part of the India-US Strategic Dialogue, expressed hope on this occasion that the dip in sentiment world-wide was momentary.

He expressed confidence that industry on both the sides was resilient enough to withstand pressure and reiterated that it was in times like these that the role of governments came into play.

In his remarks, Godrej offered the platform of Global Innovation and Technology Alliance or GITA for collaboration with the US. GITA is a newly instituted not-for-profit company set up by CII in partnership with the government to facilitate and fund bilateral industrial R&D projects, in partnership with academia.

"This is an excellent mechanism to spur research and can be expanded to include US", Godrej said.

USIBC president Ron Somers termed the ongoing rush of meetings between India and the US as the "India Festival" in Washington noting that over a period of five days there are going to be more than five sets of meetings in capitals of both countries.

These include the science and technology endowment fund dialogue, the strategic dialogue, the higher education dialogue, a CII-USIBC economic summit and industry-to-industry dialogue.

CII director general, Chandrajit Banerjee, suggested setting up of a permanent mechanism to take forward between-the-dialogue programmes in the two countries.

He said the existing platform of CII CEOs` Forum, which had been very effective in promoting bilateral trade ties, could be used for this.

He offered CII`s help in managing the secretariat of any permanent mechanism which the two governments may think of setting up for this purpose.

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