Jan 14, 2017, 04.44 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18
Trump's policies will be a win-win situation for both India and the US. He says the bilateral trade between the two countries can go upto USD 500 billion in the next 7 years.
US President-Elect Donald Trump's ties with PM Narendra Modi will be the strongest among all other leaders in Asia-Pacific, says the Chairman of the US-India Business Council, John Chambers. He is optimistic about the Indo-US trade relations and feels that the two nations will march the world into a better economic growth environment.
Trump's policies will be a win-win situation for both India and the US. He says the bilateral trade between the two countries can go up to USD 500 billion in the next 7 years.
He agrees with Trump's optimism on job creation in US. There is a high probability of achieving the target of creating 25-35 million jobs, says Chambers.
Below is the transcript of John Chambers interview to CNBC-TV18's Prashant Nair.
Q: At the Vibrant Gujarat Summit you are leading about a 100 business people, representatives of top US companies to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. I hear you speak at the summit, you called Narendra Modi one of the greatest transformational leaders you have met. You called India the best place to invest in the world, why is that?
A: It is two reasons, I have met every leader in the world and a great deal of time over the last 25 years. I am able to see which leaders are able to outline a vision, a strategy and execution of changes that is going to occur. I have also had the rare opportunity to see what motivates the leaders in terms of their vision, is it an inclusive one, is it a win-win one? So, when I think about Prime Minister Modi's capability, he is truly a visionary. He is able to translate vision into strategy and then part of the execution elements. Then he really focuses on the metrics to achieve that.
He has outlined a vision for India that I believe will allow the GDP to be the envy of the world, probably 7 percent plus. It would not surprise me to see it at 8-10 percent range.
If you look at the last 25 years, India has opened its markets, your life expectancy has doubled. Incomes have gone up 4 fold. What Prime Minister Modi has done over the last 2.5 years is established a foundation for the next 25 years. He has viewed Digital India and how all the pieces - from smart city to inclusion of 1.3 billion people to education to security. He ties it altogether in a way that few other leaders in the world have even started to do and he moves with a tremendous speed. I have watched him, how he thinks and I was with him probably 7 different times in the Gujarat Conference.
I have high energy, he has more energy than I do. So, I believe that he will go down as one of the greatest leaders in the world. However it is about results and I am very optimistic about the results.
Q: India needs capital to achieve a lot of what you said, all kinds of capital, FDI capital, portfolio investment etc. The US is home to that capital and that is the question I am getting to, under Donald Trump as President, we heard him talk about some of his policies and what he plans to do, how is this likely to change prospects for India, prospects for emerging markets (EM) going to change according to you?
A: When you really look at US India relationships, President Trump is really smart and so is Prime Minister Modi. This should be the strongest relationship we have in Asia Pacific. If you look at it from a business perspective, the bilateral trade it will go up and down a little bit at a given time period but it will end up being about 50-50. It has grown from USD 60 billion to USD 110 billion last year, we think in the next 7 years it can go to USD 500 billion.
Q: You think that target is achievable?
A: Yes I really do. Most important it can be a win on both sides where both sides generate jobs. I think you will find that India will be America's strongest partner in this region. The US-India Business Council (USIBC) is an example is committing USD 27 billion from 52 of our companies. We had a 100 leaders here but just 52 of us are committing USD 27 billion to India in the next two years. If you watch the increase in foreign direct investment, it was up 30 percent. So, I believe that they are two great democracies in the world that are going to lead in the economic growth, I think it will be India and US and I think we can do it together.
When there is any change, it takes a while for each side to get to know each other. I know that the conversations between the two leaders of the countries went very well. I know that the team meetings at the next level have gone very well. So, I am very optimistic about the relationship between US and India. India should know better than anyone else that when there is a regime change it takes a while for each side to kind of have that healthy give and take and to prioritise where they go.