While India's demography and market potential make it an attractive destination for US investors looking to outsource manufacturing, the question uppermost on their minds is whether they can do business in India, the head of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) said Wednesday.
"A major concern for US companies is India's taxation policies. It is not seen as a tax-friendly country and high profile cases like Nokia and Vodafone, the last where issues of retrospective taxation came up, worry potential investors," Asoke K. Laha, IACC president, told IANS on the sidelines of the 10th Indo-US Economic Summit organised here by the chamber.
"On ease of doing business in India, US investors are also concerned about the long list of compliances required at both central and state levels, with too many regulators and overlapping jurisdictions," Laha added.
Laha, originally from Kolkata and with a successful IT business in the US, said that from India's perspective it needs to create a favourable environment through taxation policies and providing infrastructure.
"Our chamber facilitates direct contact between the government and corporates through this summit. We have government representatives who will directly engage with US companies to understand and deal with the challenges faced by them in India," Laha said.
Pointing out that it is the only summit being officially supported by the United States Commercial Service, the foreign trade promotion arm of the US Department of Commerce, Laha said: "We are not looking at the summit in terms of the investment we manage to get, but to help companies understand the laws and policies of both the countries better."
The focus areas of this year's summit, which has the theme of "Convergence and Connectivity in Indo-US Economic Relations", are services, cyber security, media and entertainment, e-commerce, hospitality and tourism, and skill development, Laha said.
The summit valedictory on the concluding day Thursday will be given by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.