Obama pledges $4 billion to IndiaStaff writer ▼ | January 27, 2015
President Barack Obama ended a landmark day in India on Monday with a pledge of $4 billion in investments and loans, seeking to release what he called the "untapped potential" of a business and strategic partnership between the world's largest democracies.
Meeting US investment in India had doubled
The leaders talked on first name terms, recorded a radio program together and spent hours speaking at different events, but despite the bonhomie, Obama and Modi reminded business leaders, including the head of PepsiCo, (PEP.N) that trade ties were still fragile.
India accounts for only 2 percent of US imports and one percent of its exports, Obama said. While annual bilateral trade had reached $100 billion, that is less than a fifth of US trade with China.
"We are moving in the right direction... That said, we also know that the US-India relationship is defined by so much untapped potential," Obama told the Indian and US business leaders. "Everyone here will agree, we've got to do better."
Modi said US investment in India had doubled in the past four months and vowed to do more to slash the country's notorious red tape and make it one of the world's easiest places for business.
Obama said that US Export-Import Bank would finance $1 billion in exports of 'Made-in-America products. The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation will lend $1 billion to small- and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas of India.
Regarding renewable energy, a key focus for Modi, $2 billion will be committed by the US Trade and Development Agency for renewable energy, Obama said. ■