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US firms shouldn't just sell in India, it has to be a two-way road, says SpiceJet chief

Updated : February 25, 2020 10:59 PM IST

India and the US have not signed a trade deal during US President Donald Trump's visit, but there is hope that there will be more action on that front and a breakthrough would happen in the coming months.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump have said that they would take a much more comprehensive approach to trade and investment.

To discuss the implications of Trump's visit to India, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman and MD of SpiceJet Ajay Singh, President and CEO of GE South Asia Mahesh Palashikhar, and Chairman and MD of Zydus Cadila Pankaj Patel.

According to Mohapatra, Trump's visit is more about messaging, sending the right messages about India being a strategic and commercial ally of the US.  "We have opened up the FDI to a large extent, only a few areas remain where there is a cap. Apart from corporate tax reduction, GST, labour law reforms, a series of reforms the government is embarking on, a lot of it has been done and it is a process. Trade deal or FTA or whatever eventually happens but our policies are driven towards attracting more investments into the country, particularly from the US," he noted.

Singh said the biggest thing that companies on both sides can do is to look at what the objectives of the two countries are. "For example, if we want more Make in India, if India wants more technology in areas like defence, it should be that Americans will collaborate a little more and just not be salesmen into India, it has to be a two-way road," he pointed out.

Palashikhar stated that GE innovates in India for the world. "Our technology centres create some of the best IP in this country and I think that is huge value addition," he observed.

GE has state-of-the-art technologies and is partnering with the Indian government for the light combat aircraft, the CEO added.
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