Asia St: Indian Finance Minister’s US Tour Highlights Investment Opportunities

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Indian Finance Minister’s US Tour Highlights Investment Opportunities

October 20, 2021

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons).

The BGA India Team, led by Managing Director Ratan Shrivastava, wrote an update to clients on the Indian finance minister’s recent trip to the United States. The update examined the context for the development, its significance as well as the potential opportunities for businesses.

Context

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid a scheduled visit to the United States in October. Her visit, which included stops in Washington, D.C. and New York, included meetings with the private sector and U.S. officials but were largely around attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Group of 20 (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

Sitharaman’s visit came at a significant moment for India as well as the world at large. India has ramped up its external engagements as the economy recovers from an earlier wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world is also approaching summit season with a spotlight on several issues which India plays an important role in, including the global minimum tax.

Significance

Some of Sitharaman’s engagements were focused around the private sector. For instance, while in New York, Sitharaman met with industry leaders and CEOs to discuss the Indian government’s reform agenda, including increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) caps in key sectors and management of Covid-19.

Sitharaman and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen also chaired the eighth U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership, spotlighting a key element of an important and growing relationship. While both sides discussed a range of issues including post-pandemic macroeconomic recovery, technical collaboration, climate finance and anti-money laundering, continued collaboration on financial and related regulatory issues was the highlight.

Implications

Sitharaman’s meetings reinforced some key sectoral areas for companies to watch in terms of where India’s domestic priorities are linked with its international engagements. For instance, in her meetings with the World Bank and IMF, she highlighted issues that included clean energy finance and renewables, while U.S.-India interactions touched on areas to include vaccines and supply chain management.

Some of Sitharaman’s projections will be important to monitor in the coming months given their wider significance. She projected that India will soon administer 1 billion vaccinations while keeping the economic trajectory at $400 billion in exports. These milestones will be important in the global fight against the pandemic as well as the world’s path to a post-pandemic future.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in India as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA India Managing Director Ratan Shrivastava at ratan@bowergroupasia.com.