Opening up of FDI in key sectors, use of technology to leapfrog in terms of industrial growth and ease of business are the hallmarks of Modi government's 'Make in India' initiative, according to Indian officials.
Enabling manufacturing through industrial corridors, infrastructure development and smart cities were its other key pillars, Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said at an event in Washington on Tuesday.
Opening up of FDI in key sectors such as construction, defence, railways, medical devices etc, as well as genuine commitment from the government to usher in growth, were also cited at the event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Embassy of India.
Kant urged US industry to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the various sectors identified under 'Make in India' to enter India, make for the domestic market and also export.
In particular, he stressed that India and the United States "must partner on merit and innovation".
Kant pointed out that given the imperative to create millions of jobs for India's aspirational youth, jump starting the manufacturing economy, which currently contributes only 16 per cent to India's GDP, is critical.
Indian ambassador to the US S Jaishankar, in his keynote remarks applauded the "strength of purpose and seriousness of intent" of the new government in India and also highlighted the new positivity in the US-India bilateral relationship.
Arun Kumar, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, spoke of the various initiatives already undertaken by the US Department of Commerce to collaborate with the Indian government with regard to the Make in India initiative and to support US companies.
In particular, he reiterated the US willingness to share best practices with India, through programmes like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Network.
On behalf of CII, Kapil Sharma, Member, CII-India Business Forum, USA and Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, North America, Wipro, moderated the session.
Shifting the focus to the experience of corporate America in terms of manufacturing India, a second panel featured US industry representatives.
Participants included Ziad S Ojakli, Group Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company, Del Renigar, Senior Counsel for Global Government Affairs & Policy, General Electric Company and Stanley Roth, Vice President, International Government Relations, Boeing International.
The session was moderated by Richard Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The event was attended by over 200 people from across the US and Indian private sectors, government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks and media.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)