News / Asia

India Rejects Obama's Concerns About Investment Climate

People walk past an American apparel brand store in Bangalore, India, January 11, 2012.
People walk past an American apparel brand store in Bangalore, India, January 11, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
NEW DELHI — Indian officials have rejected U.S. President Barack Obama's reported concerns that India's investment climate is deteriorating.  Officials in New Delhi are pushing back, saying India is friendly to foreign investors.

In an interview with the Press Trust of India Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that in too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits foreign investment.  Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma responded to the American leader's comments a day later, saying “observations are observations.”

“There is a difference between perception and reality, reality is different," said Sharma. "India has an abiding commitment to economic reforms and liberalization. We would like to assure all our partners that we have an investor friendly climate.”

PTI quoted President Obama as saying that American businesses “tell us it is still too hard to invest in India.”

Obama praised the Indian economy, saying it is growing at an impressive rate. But he said there appears to be a growing consensus in India it may be the right time to press ahead with another wave of economic reforms.

Minister Sharma says the Indian government has put policies in place to welcome investors. “In all the global projections, if you look at the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank reports, for the next three years also, India will remain one of the top three destinations attractive for investors,” he said.

Corporate Minister Veerappa Moily said President Obama is not properly informed and blamed “international lobbies” for spreading negative information about India.

Lawmakers from opposition parties also criticized the American president’s remarks.

President Obama’s observations have come in the wake of growing concerns expressed by many foreign and domestic investors about India’s failure to further liberalize its economy and about the hurdles posed by India’s regulatory framework.

During a visit to India last week, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called India’s business environment “complicated.”

Some Indian officials agreed that there is need to make India's more business-friendly for outside investors.  

“I don't think we are taking any different view that we need to strengthen the investment climate,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia who heads India’s Planning Commission.

In recent weeks, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too has spoken about the urgent need to take steps to boost foreign as well as local investment, which has been falling in recent months.

Analysts say Singh wants to take steps to move ahead with reforms in sectors such as retail and insurance, but opposition from political allies has made the task difficult.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Randy R from: canada
July 17, 2012 10:17 AM
India should learn to take positive criticism.President Obama is right,even World bank and IMF rate india at the bottom when it comes to easy of doing business and investing in the country.

by: John from: German
July 17, 2012 12:01 AM
Actually, I prefer China rather than India.
Simple reason: the population in India is growing too fast to feed.

by: trish from: USA
July 16, 2012 5:46 PM
What the Indian officials and opposition leaders stated on the latter part of the article re: the necessity to make India more business-friendly is exactly what Mr. Obama was talking about. Yet they insisted Mr. O had to be wrong. They are starting to sound like our "ultra -right" Republicans that counter everything Mr. O prepares and/or gets through. Yet they have nothing better to replace these items with other than exactly what he put up there. Both groups seem to not what Mr. O to be right, before they are right. In other words, if it were they that put up the changes first, those same ones he was talking it about, all would be right with the world. No one can give credit where credit is due??? How egotistic!!!

July 16, 2012 3:23 PM

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs