With India being projected as the fastest growing economy in the world in the near future even ahead of China, the US corporate honchos are looking up to President Barack Obama‘s visit to India of strategic interest to them in terms of market access to be enabled by the Narendra Modi-Government, an ASSOCHAM CEOs’ survey in India and the US highlighted.

The survey done between January 6 and January 16 among major Indian corporate and the US corporate extended through the major Indian cities as also in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. It was done by ASSOCHAM office in New York along with its partner channels.

The benefits of the Obama visit to India go far beyond the bilateral relations. “It sends a broad message to the rest of the world as well, that is, India is the place to be in.

“We are confident that this visit will force several other big economies to look at India with renewed interest. The Obama visit, at this moment, is going to be the turning point. Even at the ongoing World Economic Forum annual meeting at Davos, the focus is going to be on the visit of the US President to India,” ASSOCHAM President, Mr Rana Kapoor said.

Almost 72 per cent of the 118 corporate leaders said that they expect President Obama to encourage Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi to give more market access and remove the road blocks for the American firms which are keen on participating in a big way in some of the flagship programmes of the Indian government, such as Make in India, Smart Cities, sanitation (Swachch Bharat) and the focus on renewable energy, especially the solar energy.

Likewise, the CEOs from Indian cities such Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Chennai wanted Prime Minister Modi to take up upfront the issue of problems which are faced by the Indian IT companies in the US in the name of outsourcing.

As many 81 per cent of those surveyed suggested that the moment the word outsourcing is uttered in the US, a wrong impression is sought to be created as if it is India which is taking away their jobs.Modi-tile300x110

“But the fact is that a large number of Indian IT companies are investing heavily in the US, creating job opportunities for the Americans. The back-end setups in India are nothing but parts of supply chains of the US companies. In any case, supply chain in a whole lot of sectors be it manufacturing or services are becoming global with the countries participating in one or the other layers depending on their comparative advantage,” said the ASSOCHAM chief.

The related area for a large number of Indian professionals going on short-term visits to the US is the absence of Totalisation agreement which results in billions of dollars of their hard earned wages being deducted in the US for the social security which they are not able to utilise.

However, an overwhelming majority on both sides agreed that the timing of the Obama visit was perfect since the Indian economy is looking for new major initiatives to boost investment in infrastructure projects while the American corporations have the band width to help and be partners in these projects. Besides, the thrust on Make in India and the manufacturing should interest the US.