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US tech majors in India to explore investment ties, easy FDI norms

Delegation comprises Oracle, Amazon and HP among others under the aegis of US-India Business Council

Nayanima Basu  |  New Delhi 

US tech majors in India to explore investment ties, ease FDI norms

US technology giants are presently visiting India to assess opportunities announced by the Narendra Modi-led government under the Digital India programme and to push for relaxation in the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in e-commerce.

The delegation, which is on a three-day visit here, comprises of American tech biggies such as Oracle, Amazon and HP among others under the aegis of US-India Business Council (USIBC).

During the visit, the delegation will meet officials across all the ministries and departments that administer the country's digital economy.

The visit is also aimed at following up on the interactions these companies had with the senior officials, who accompanied PM Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley last month.

"In the spirit of promoting Digital India, e-commerce models should be allowed to enable small and medium businesses across India to reach national and global consumers. However, FDI in business-to-consumer e-commerce is still restricted in India. This means that Indian e-commerce companies cannot seek the capital they need to grow their business and hire more employees. That is something we are trying to address on this delegation," said Neil Bjorkman, director of Digital Economy at USIBC.

He said India should allow such e-commerce models that will enable the small and medium Indian companies to access global consumers. The firms will be focusing mainly on three key areas of cyber-security, regulatory reform for manufacturing IT products and e-commerce. They will be seeking opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Bjorkman also said since 2012 American as well as other global manufacturers have faced a major regulatory hurdle by way of Indian safety regulations under the Compulsory Registration Order under the ministry of communications and IT.

"This bottleneck drives up the cost of IT products for Indian consumers but does not make them safer. We will continue to urge the Government to remove duplicative testing and lessen the related administrative burdens," Bjorkman added.

First Published: Wed, October 14 2015. 13:28 IST