WASHINGTON: Noting that India prohibited foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail, US President Barack Obama today cited concerns over deteriorating investment climate there to endorse another “wave” of economic reforms.
Still sounding positive about Indian economy, “which continues to grow at an impressive rate,” he said that to some extent, India’s slower growth is a reflection of the larger slow down in the global economy.
The US President answered a wide range of questions on the state of the Indian as well as global economy, Indo-Pak ties and American strategy in the Asia-Pacific region during an interview.
Obama was careful not to be directly critical of the negative investment climate in India but cited the concerns of the American business community to make his points.
Many in the American business community, “one of the great champions of the US-India partnership”, have expressed concerns that the investment climate in India is deteriorating, he said.
“They tell us it is still too hard to invest in India. In too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits the foreign investment that is necessary to create jobs in both our countries, and which is necessary for India to continue to grow,” Obama said.
Refraining from prescribing any solutions for India’s economic difficulties, the President said, “it is not the place of the United States to tell other nations, including India, how to chart its economic future. That is for Indians to decide.”
Obama noted that “there appears to be a growing consensus in India that the time may be right for another wave of economic reforms to make India more competitive in the global economy.”