With 80 percent of India of 2030 yet to be built, there are huge business opportunities for American and Indian companies in varied areas, including defence, according to a top US official.
Despite some of the shortcomings like corruption and infrastructure, the tremendous growth that is taking place now in India present some quite significant opportunities, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Robert Blake said in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton in Philadelphia.
As he pointed out at the Wharton India Economic Forum as “80 percent of the India of 2030 is yet to be built, so there are going to be vast opportunities in areas such as the development of airports, regional airports, of railway networks, of fiberoptic networks,” he said
Things are now possible in sensitive areas like defence also, Blake said noting that as India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has come off the IS Department of Commerce’s entities list, “for the first time we’re going to be able to work with them.”
“So there are tremendous sort of synergies that can be exploited from that,” Blake said adding, “I think when you add in the private sector, which is already very well developed both in India and the United States, the synergies are magnified.”
As American companies compete and hopefully win big contracts like the medium multi-role combat aircraft contract, he said, “There will be many many opportunities for them to start to invest” to meet quite significant offset requirements.
“And I think there will be some quite interesting co-development and co-production opportunities that will result from those,” Blake said.
Asked about some of the risks that could undermine the opportunities, he said: “one of the principal risks that a lot of people worry about is simply that the momentum that has been established now in our relations will not be sustained.”
Referring to “political divisions that exist, particularly in the Indian parliament” Blake said: “I think that the vast attention that has been given to the corruption controversy has really crowded out a lot of the opportunities that could have taken place.”
“So I think both of our countries need to just keep our eye on the ball and remind our leaders of the importance of this relationship and to continue to make progress.”
Noting “now the private sector has eclipsed what the government is doing, and that’s a good thing,” he said: That’s exactly what we’d like to see happen.” By Arun Kumar