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Thursday, Sep 25, 2003

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`Time ripe for setting up shop in US'

K.R. Srivats

New Delhi , Sept. 23

INDIAN companies should adopt a proactive approach and try to establish presence in the US, according to the National President of the Indo-American Chambers of Commerce, Mr Vinod Chandiok.

He told Business Line that the time is now ripe for more Indian companies to establish presence in the US. "The US economy is in recovery mode. There are plenty of opportunities that are emerging in various sectors — both manufacturing and services," he said.

On the scope for strengthening Indo-US economic cooperation, he sees potential in the fields of defence and higher education. "Now that private participation in the defence production sector is permitted in India, the private sector here can look for technology tie-ups and other strategic alliances with US enterprises," he said.

He also sees opportunities in the area of outsourcing of research and development (R&D) work to India. "Outsourcing of R&D work will be a win-win situation for both the countries," he said.

On taxation, he highlighted that e-commerce taxation continued to be a "grey area" and this could have an impact on the quantum of economic activity that could be carried out between the two countries. "Uncertainty would lead to reduction in economic activity, which would in turn impact recovery of operational costs," he said.

The IACC National President was also in favour of opening up higher education for 100 per cent foreign investment. "Why not permit top business schools and foreign universities to establish presence in India to offer high quality higher education? This move would have twin benefits of lower cost of education for the students and also help in stopping brain drain," Mr Chandiok said. He, however, held that foreign participation should not be permitted in both primary and secondary education.

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