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Top three govt leaders in US to woo investors

With the Indian rupee in the doldrums, three top government leaders in charge of the Indian economy are converging on Washington to woo American investors by telling them that India is still a success story with tremendous opportunities.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram arrived here Tuesday, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma lands here later Wednesday and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia would be here Thursday.

All three will be making a pitch for India and addressing US corporate leaders' concerns about the business climate in India at the 38th anniversary leadership summit here Thursday of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) representing over 350 US companies doing business with India.

Joining them would be business leaders from India and the US as they explore ways to remove investment barriers and deepen their commercial ties to achieve the full potential of their relationship.

Newly-appointed US Trade Representative Michael Froman too would address the conclave that would identify barriers to trade and investment and propose solutions to deepen the US-India commercial relationship which crossed $100 billion this year in two-way trade in goods and services, USIBC said.

"India is a long-term business opportunity that holds tremendous opportunities for industry," said USIBC president Ron Somers ahead of the conclave.

The USIBC summit, themed 'Agenda for Progress', will focus on ways to make the US-India partnership stronger, to the benefit of both countries," said USIBC, noting that Indian investment in the US recently touched $11 billion and helped create 100,000 American jobs.

US-India CEO Forum chairperson Ratan Tata of the Tata Foundation and Dave Cote of Honeywell will share their aspirations for a robust future of prosperity and job creation that will benefit both countries.

The CEO Forum will also hold a separate closed door session July 12 with the Indian side expected to raise issues like restrictive and discriminatory provisions in the US immigration reform bill, particularly those relating to H-1B visas for skilled Indian techies.

Chidambram and Anand Sharma are also expected to have bilateral meetings with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Froman, respectively.

USIBC will also release a new publication titled "Investing in America, How India Helps Create American Jobs" during the meeting, to demonstrate the ways the American economy is already benefiting from the successful bilateral and business relationship.