The news of acceptance of invitation to be the chief guest of Republic Day, 2015 of India by US President Barack Obama came as a surprise to several Indians. Barack Obama is the first American leader to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Well, this has also raised high very expectations among the political leaders and general public of the country. Now the question is whether the visit of Obama be of any benefit to the Indians?
The groundwork of visit of Obama has been laid by the US secretary of state John Kerry. It has listed the following as the primary focus areas:
- Cooperation on investment
- Civil nuclear energy
- Climate change
- Anti-terrorism measures
According to Kerry, investment and trade will get the main focus during the meet. The US officials are aiming to woo India as a strategic partner. It is also looking forward to get better and more productive access to the market of India.
In the past, the American companies have been quite apprehensive about investing in India owing to the strict laws existing in various sectors including those related to liability, intellectual property, copyrights, and patents. Now under Modi, American companies have got an opportunity to invest in India. The tax rules are now getting streamlined and simple. The US is now planning to increase trade with India. This will be quite beneficial for India on the economic front.
Another benefit India will have by this visit is on US-India civil nuclear cooperation,. Some progress can be expected on this front. Kerry has confirmed in a statement that the nation will try to make dedicated efforts towards vision of Modi to supply 24×7 electricity to India. He also confirmed that the officials will soon work with the country to reach out a landmark climate change agreement in Paris. This will happen towards the end of this year.
The meeting between the two leaders will prove fruitful for climate change and other things. Modi and Obama are also expected to discuss about US concerns and liability from building nuclear power plants in India. As per the 2010 nuclear liability law that was released afte 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, suppliers for equipment are liable for damages from an accident. The companies believe that this rule deviates from globally accepted norms holding operator responsible on a set of safety issues.
The US secretary is quite positive and convinced that India and US collaboration this time will create healthier, profitable, and more secure environment for traders and suppliers. He is all praises for the Vibrant Gujarat summit where the Ford is investing a billion US dollars in Gujarat to start off with its car factory. The plan is to supply cars to India and even export them.
Overall, the expectations with the visit of US president Obama as chief guest for the Republic Day parade are really high. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the same and expect the best for a more progressive and prospering India.