Prime Minister Narendra Modi just wrapped up his fourth visit to the United States as part of his five-nation tour. While strengthening India’s strategic partnership with the US has been one of the main items on his agenda, several US businesses took the opportunity to make investments announcements into the Indian market. Here are the highlights:
1. Amazon announced a $3 billion investment into India, bringing its total commitment to $5 billion. “Our Amazon.in team is surpassing even our most ambitious planned milestones,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and Founder, said in a statement. Amazon’s warchest is likely to put domestic Indian e-commerce players Flipkart and Snapdeal on watch, who have found it difficult to raise additional rounds of funding from their startup investors. Amazon plans to open a “web services Cloud Region” in India. Its development centre in Hyderabad is set to become its largest software engineering and development centre outside of the US.
2. Indian media and entertainment company Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, announced it will invest an additional $5 billion in the country over the next three years. “We see huge potential in the Indian market and have been one of the largest foreign investors in India and the largest in the media and entertainment sector,” Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO of Star India, said in a statement.
3. US solar power company SunLink Corp has said it will partner with domestic Indian companies to deploy up to 1.4 giga watts of solar power over the next five years that should help create manufacturing and construction jobs. Separately, US and India have reaffirmed their joint efforts to tackle climate change and announced several climate and renewables-related joint initiatives. At least $60 million in clean energy financing will be deployed in solar and clean energy initiatives across India jointly by the two countries. Other initiatives include setting up the Clean Energy Finance Hub, which will partner with Indian financial institutions to boost renewables investments in India; and a U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force, which will boost payment security efforts for clean energy assets.
4. Westinghouse Electric Co. and Nuclear Power Corporation of India have agreed to start engineering and site design work for six nuclear power plant reactors in India. India and the US Export-Import Bank are expected to jointly finance the project, according to media reports. However, the final contract won't be ready until June 2017.
A number of US businesses are on track to invest an additional $45 billion in India over the next two or three years, John Chambers, Chairman of US India Business Council and Cisco Executive Chairman, said in a statement. He added, “Given Prime Minister Modi’s track record towards implementing Digital India and key economic reforms, we are optimistic that this number will be dramatically exceeded, perhaps even doubled.”
During his visit, Modi also met a number of business leaders including Robert Ford of Abbott; James Taiclet of American Tower Corp; Marc Allen of Boeing; David Cordani Cigna; Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin; Ajay Banga MasterCard; Indra Nooyi PepsiCo; and David Dvorak Zimmer Biomet.
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