Senator John Cornyn
Senate India Caucus Co-chair


The Obama Administration must not allow the progress made during the Bush regime to slip away. Now is the time for President Obama to strengthen the US-India relations further and take it forward, said Senator John Cornyn, the India Caucus Co-chair in the US Senate

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Mr. Sanjay Puri
Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC)

Issues such as the new H1-B rules, Ohio state ban on outsourcing notwithstanding, both India and the US realize that they share the same strongdemocratic values and that has helped build a strong level of  mutual trust and confidence between the two. Indo-US economic relations are "very strong and getting stronger" said Sanjay Puri, Chairman of US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).

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Mr. Ron Somers
President
US India Business Council (USIBC)


The U.S. and India need to better synchronize their trade policies to mutual benefit and advantage, said Ron Somers, President, US India Business Council.
“Be wary of rising trade figures with China….. My advice: Choose your friends wisely”, he said.

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Mr. Sanjay Puri
Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC)

India has to recognize that China has taken steps to make it a more attractive investment destination, and also been able to provide the requisite infrastructure, said Sanjay Puri, Chairman of the Alliance for US-India Business (AUSB) and Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).

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Mr. Jim McDermott
Co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans

To create incentives for investment in India, a bilateral investment treaty would be an important treaty. This treaty would basically provide a way in which US investors know that they would be treated fairly in India, says Jim McDermott, Co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

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Dr. Mohan Kaul
Director General, Commonwealth Business Council

"The balance of power is shifting with the emergence of China, India, Brazil, etc.” and “the reality of the economic benefits and sensitivities of free trade is now understood by all despite their negotiating stance at international trade forum”, said Dr. Mohan Kaul, Director General, Commonwealth Business Council.

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Mr. Sanjay Puri
Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC)

Positive trends and policies notwithstanding, there are a number of ways USINPAC believes U.S.-India trade relations can still be enhanced. One of these areas is to open discussions on forming a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. said Sanjay Puri, Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC). He is also Chairman of the US India Business Alliance (USIBA).

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Mr. M. G. Kiran
IT Secretary, Govt. of Sikkim
India

Considerable political stability; crime free state with no insurgency problem; and a large English speaking population -- all these are the right ingredients for IT enabled Services (ITeS) in the state. “It is here that we have an edge over other states”, said M.G. Kiran, IT Secretary, Government of Sikkim.

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Mr. V. S. Bhaskar
IT Secretary, Govt. of Assam
India

The state capital Guwahati can become a gateway to South East Asia and Far East Asia due to its aerial proximity to the region. Government of Assam has been trying for sometime to attract one of the major IT companies of India to set up a development centre in Guwahati, said V.S.Bhaskar, IT Secretary, Government of Assam.

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Mr. Lalu Prasad
Railway Minister, India

Indian Railways is in a strong financial position today. “The image of the Railways has brightened so much that we are getting loans from abroad at low rates. We are executing our projects in the country with our own resources”, said Lalu Prasad, Indian Railway Minister.

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Mr. Sudhir Kumar
OSD to the Railway Minister, India

The turn around magic lies in the Railway Minister’s leadership. “It is his leadership that is helping to build up this beautiful team and excellent consensus and teamwork”, said Sudhir Kumar, Officer on Special Duty to the Railway Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad.

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Dr. Debesh Das
Information Technology Minister
Govt. of West Bengal

Software alone cannot take India to greater height. The country has to put equal emphasis on Hardware that is an integral part of IT. West Bengal would like to take special care and give required emphasis on hardware, its chip design related activities in particular in the state, says Debesh Das, Information Technology Minister of West Bengal.

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Mr. S. K. Ghosh
Chairman
Industrial India Trade Fair

India’s share in Vietnam’s total foreign trade is very small (0.89 percent in 2005). The significant imbalance in trade balance could be largely corrected and overall trade volume raised, if Free Trade Agreement is put in place," so feels S. K. Ghosh, Chairman of Industrial India Trade Fair.

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Mr. Azher Saeed Butt
Co President
India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Pakistan and India can dominate world trade if both the countries can have a long-term trade policy. "One of the major reasons of low volume of trade" between the two countries, "is lack of confidence and unclear policies", says Azher Saeed Butt, Co President, India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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Mr. Oknha Kith Meng
President
Phnom Penh Chamber of Commerce
(Cambodia Chamber of Commerce)

India is one of best friends of Cambodia. To boost Indo-Cambodian bilateral trade one best solution is to "somehow India’s investors relocate their production units to Cambodia and start diversifying products of Cambodia in order to raise exports from this country," says Oknha Kith Meng, President of the Phnom Penh Chamber of Commerce (Cambodia Chamber of Commerce).

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Mr. Ron Somers
President
US India Business Council (USIBC)

2006 will be a historic year in the US-India relationship. “The fifth-ever visit of a U.S. President to India is bound to be successful. A bounty of opportunity will ensue – far beyond mere commercial measure,” says Ron Somers, President of the US India Business Council (USIBC).

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Dr. G. D. Gautama
Principal Secretary
Dept. of Information Technology
Govt. of West Bengal

With the significant changes in perception about West bengal, the IT industry is witnessing significant qualitative as well as quantitative development. The ITeS sector is also no exception, in fact has become an integral part of this development process, so feels Dr G.D.Gautama, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of West Bengal.

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Mr. Sanjay Puri
Chairman
US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC)

Not by any political convenience, the U.S.-India relationship will continue to be defined as much by shared values as it is by the foreign policies of the two countries, so feels Sanjay Puri, Chairman of the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).

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H.E. Ong Keng Yong
Secretary-General
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

In the current era of globalization, ASEAN places premium in developing regional processes that are transparent, open and outward-looking. “If we fail to do this, Asia’s emergence in the 21st Century will not be sustainable,” said His Excellency Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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Ms. Neelam Dhawan
Managing Director
Microsoft India

In it's India agenda, Microsoft’s topmost priority is “to become relevant” to country’s one billion population. The software giant's consumer strategy is aimed at enabling Indian consumers to embrace a Digital Lifestyle enabled by a rich constellation of Microsoft products, services & partnerships, says Ms Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, Microsoft India.

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Mr. Gautam Banerjee
Executive Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Singapore

A common platform and global standards in Governance-Risk Management-Compliance (GRC) are strongly required as companies around the world compete for capital funds, observes Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Singapore. "I expect a push towards a common platform and global standards" in GRC. The corporate governance in India is becoming a very important issue with multinationals growing rapidly in the country and "more importantly", with Indian companies going global, he says.

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Mr. N. Balasubramanian
Chairman & Managing Director
SIDBI

Most of the entrepreneurs in the SME sector are blissfully unaware of the wide range of SIDBI support and offerings. Knowledge gap is the biggest road block for the SME sector to grow, said SIDBI Chairman and Managing Director N. Balasubramanian. We are trying our best to bridge that gap as much as possible but to achieve that a more concerted efforts by all other banks and other key players are essential, he added.

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Mr. Ranjit Sen
President
Indo-American Chamber of Commerce
India should now exploit to the fullest extent the opportunities being thrown by the New Strategic Partnership with the US unlike in the Cold War era when the country was closer to the erstwhile Soviet bloc, the policy that provided China an opportunity to open up and expand trade with the US. "Once the door is opened up fully and restrictions are taken away, I think the sky is the limit", says Ranjit Sen, President of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

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Mr. Mark Kobayashi-Hillary
Director (Global Research)
CBC Technologies

India can no longer sell itself as a low cost outsourcing destination because other locations are now competing on the cost front, so feels Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, Director (Global Research) of CBC Technologies.

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Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Republican Congresswoman

The relationship between the United States and India is playing an increasingly important role in regional and world affairs in the post-Cold War world, says Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican Congresswoman and a friend of India.

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Mr. Allen Ma
President, BT Asia Pacific

India today is one of the top priorities in the global telecom giant BT's business strategy for Asia Pacific "We remain fully committed to service in the market. India is in the world’s spotlight, and as frontrunner, we also continue to develop our share in this market," says Allen Ma, President, BT Asia Pacific.

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Mr. Rob Durie
CEO of Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)

The prospects of India and Australia forging together to emerge as an IT super power in the Asia-Pacific region are bright, feels Rob Durie, the CEO of Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). “The combination of the successful Indian companies with their blue chip customer base and the innovation available in Australia could be a compelling proposition if we get it right”, he says.

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Mr. M. Rajaram
Chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI)

Singapore has always championed India’s case in ASEAN and this will continue to be the position. With its branding, Singapore can be used as the platform from which Indian products and services can be launched to the ASEAN and the rest of the world, says M. Rajaram, Chairman of the Singapore Indian chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).

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Mr. Martyn Hart
Chairman of the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK
The language capability of India means that the country will be" at the forefront of the global BPO offshore market for English speaking countries in the West," so feels Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK. This language skill is one of the main reasons why India today is the number one offshoring destination selection for UK organizations, he says. "The outsourcing of HR administration, finance and accountancy, procurement, customer management, administration and back office functions is becoming a more attractive option for organizations, looking to concentrate on core competencies. This is the real opportunity for India", the NOA chairman maintains.

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Mr. Don McKinnon
Secretary-General, The Commonwealth

The 53-nation Commonwealth is "investing a great deal of energy into promoting democracy and good governance. Strong democratic institutions provide the best foundation for economic growth", says Don McKinnon, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. Information Technology is an important tool for fostering development. Global communications and the Internet are key engines of this economic growth. The Commonwealth is also trying to bring an end to the discriminatort trade policies whereby some developed nations are advocating free trading but in practice at home they are following protectionist policies, he observes.

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Dr. Mohan Kaul
Director-General and CEO, Commonwealth Business Council
The most important objective for the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) is the economic empowerment of the people that can be achieved if most of the countries have higher economic growth rate but that for us can only be achieved by increasing the role of the private sector, so feels Dr Mohan Kaul, Director-General & Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Business Council.


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Mr. Raman Roy
Chairman, Wipro Spectramind.

To acquire and retain a sizeable share in the global market in future, Indian BPO industry has to go a long way. "The journey is very long...There is still lot to be done but the first mover’s advantage can never, never, never be taken away from us by other countries", asserts Raman Roy, Chairman and Managing Director of Wipro Spectramind. the industry would require massive incremental investment to the tune of US$ 3 billion to create 1.0 million professionals to be required by 2008. How such a massive fund requirement could be met is very big question to be answered both by the industry as well as government, he points out.

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Mr. S. K. Mitra
Managing Director, WEBEL
One finds a see-change in the IT sector in West Bengal. But what is the propelling force behind this "tremendous growth and resurgence"? "The image of our Chief Minister. What he says and what he does are basically putting lot of shine on the image that West Bengal had", said Subhendu Kumar Mitra, Managing Director of WEBEL, the nodal agency for the state's IT activities. "This perception front is being turned around" he observed.

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Mr. Kiran Karnik
President, NASSCOM

The Indian IT industry has now reached a stage of maturity where it can be a very reliable and safe partner for meeting the requirement of our global partners and also capable of doing or has the capacity to do innovation, said Kiran Karnik, President of NASSCOM. India’s national platform of the IT and IT Services industry. “We have now reached the stage where we can innovate and not just do what customer wants us to do”, he said.

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Mr. Harris Miller
President, IT Association of America
Unshackling of Indian economy from tariff barriers in 1991 by Mr. Manmohan Singh has made India a major IT power today, says Harris Miller, President of the IT Association of America. On outsourcing, he thinks, it has come to stay he said but Indian companies may have to face more and more competition from companies in the US, China and Russia in this segment.

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Mr. G. D. Gautama
Principal Secretary, Dept. of IT, Govt. of West Bengal

In last three years West Bengal has made enormous progress reflecting exponential growth in IT sector, says Dr. G.D.Gautama, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of West Bengal.

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Mr. Manabendra Mukherjee
IT Minister, Govt. of West Bengal
West Bengal produces the best quality human resources at cheapest price. This is the greatest advantage that Bengal offer to the IT industry, says Manabendra Mukherjee, IT minister of West Bengal.

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Mr. Joseph Crowley
Democratic Co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus

Over the past four years the Bush administration has been positively engaged with India. In the bilateral trade front, US can expect military equipment sector to grow. An US company that may have a substantial presence in India today to serve the US market, in 10-15 years time this investment could be predominantly serving the Indian market, says Joseph Crowley, Democratic Co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus.

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Mr. Rick Rossow
Director of Operations, US-India Business Council
The Strategic Partnership Agreement underscores the US government's commitment to India and "that will certainly help reassure" American investors. To US companies, India is still the destination of choice for BPO services says Rick Rossow, Director of Operations, US-India Business Council (USIBC).

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Mr. Joe Wilson
Republican co-chair, Congressional India Caucus

The Indo-US relationship under President George Bush has strengthened further and this is strongly reflected in historic joint military exercises, increase in bilateral trade, and in better understanding and appreciation of India’s security concerns, so feels Joe Wilson, Republican co-chair of the US Congressional India Caucus. “I feel India has become a scapegoat over this issue..”, he commented on the issue of outsourcing.

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Mr. Dasho Bap Kinga
Vice President, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry and BCCI's SAARC Desk Chief
India being a Software giant, can help Bhutan in terms of technical know-how, expatriate skills, etc, says Dasho Bap Kinga, Vice President, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry and BCCI's SAARC Desk Chief.

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Mr. M. Macky Hashim
President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The 'businessmen-to-businessmen' relationship-building measures initiated by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) have started yielding positive results overarching the political shadows that are occasionally clouding the bright prospect of SAARC to emerge as a strong regional trade body like ASEAN and the European Union, so feels M. Macky Hasim, President of SCCI.

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Ms. Benazir Bhutto
Chairperson, Pakistan Peoples Party
Ms. Benazir Bhutto, the PPP Chairperson and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, strongly believes that both Pakistan and India should seek to improve bilateral trade relations "without prejudice to their respective positions on political issues such as Kashmir". Both the countries need to signal to the world community that they are committed to the peaceful management, peaceful dialogue and peaceful solution to the bilateral issues, she said.

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Mr. Riaz Ahmed Tata
President, The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry

India being the biggest and most influential county in The South Asian Region can play pivotal role in removing all the political and economic barriers", said Riaz Ahmed Tata, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Commenting on the role of India, he said as a "big brother", India should extend "generous help by ignoring tiny issues and facilitate business activities.

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Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu
President, Telugu Desam Party
If voted back to power, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which had been extending full throat support to the NDA government led by Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, would continue to do so. The unstinting support to NDA, would be there. The Party is not going to budge an inch from this stand, asserts the TDP supremo, N. Chandrababu Naidu...

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Mr. Y. Sato, President
Japan Information Service Industry Association (JISA)

With highly skilled engineers/services for lower costs from Indian IT companies, Japanese IT industry will be able to sharpen further its global competitive edge, says Mr. Y. Sato, President of Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA).

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Mr. Hemant Kanoria
Chairman, Infrastructure, CII (ER)
One of the greater challenges India is facing today perhaps is that of developing and deploying country’s infrastructure to keep pace with constant change that is revolving around the country, says Hemant Kanoria, Chairman, Infrastructure, Confederation of Indian Industry (Eastern Region).

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Mr. Sanjay Puri
Executive Director, of US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC)

The economic cooperation between US and India is very positive with trade being at the highest level and military cooperation is very high with joint exercises and other activities going on, says Sanjay Puri, Executive Director of US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), a leading political action committee for Indian Americans...

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Mr. S. Roychowdhury
Director, UCO Bank
Once virtually dumped as a non-performing asset of the Indian banking industry, UCO Bank under the leadership of Mr. V. P. Shetty has not only turned around, it has repositioned itself as a much more strong force in the industry so much so that it offered a part of its stake to the public in this September. Creative elements and industrial harmony were largely responsible for this turn around, so feels S. Roychowdhury, Director of the Bank. Turn Around was no magic that would vanish in the air as soon as the magic spell is over, he asserted adding that "investors have gone by the fundamentals rather than propaganda."

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Mr. APS Mani
President, India IT Club, Japan

Today Indian IT companies have greater opportunities in the Japanese market. In fact, over last three years, Indian firms have gained a strong foothold in Japanese IT market, says APS Mani, President of the India IT Club, Japan.

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His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al-Saud
Chairman of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)
The Chairman of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al-Saud, is of the view that "there is good basis for a constructive, mutually beneficial relationship and we believe the future holds definite promise for stronger Indo-Saudi ties". In an interview with Amitabha Sen he said that the Kingdom is keen to build up a even stronger and stable bilateral relationship with India in coming year.

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His Excellency Mr. Kamaluddin Ahmed
Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Indo-Saudi relations are passing through "a very exciting phase and the future of these relations is very bright ahead", so feels His Excellency Kamaluddin Ahmed, Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In an exclusive interview with Amitabha Sen, he said that both the countries shared a large number of areas where they can benefit from their complimentary strengths.

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Dr. Jacques Derron
Economic Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland in India
India can expect higher inflows of FDI into the country if it opens up sectors such as insurance, banking, retail trading, and also remove bureaucratic hassles faced by foreign investors in India, so feels Dr. Jacques Derron, Economic Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland in India. In an interview with Amitabha Sen, he also observes that to make business in India more attractive, the foreign companies "definitely look forward to reducing of import tariff and non-tariff barriers in India, as well as easing of administrative burdens and rigid labour laws."

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Mr. Sushil K. Premchand
President of Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC)

Mr. Sushil K. Premchand, President of the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC), is of the view that if the Swiss SMEs are tapped properly and if proper focus is given on them, India can expect substantial amount of FDI in aggregate terms. In an interview with Amitabha Sen, Premchand who is the Chairman of the Premchand Group, says that he personally feels that in the WTO regime, with the gradual opening up of the market, Indo-Swiss trade will boost up, provided India does not resort to non-tariff barriers to protect the domestic Indian markets.

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Mr. Osamu Watanabe
Chairman, JETRO
Mr. Osamu Watanabe is the Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). In an interview with Amitabha Sen, Mr. Watanabe said that to step up foreign investment in India, further economic reforms and deregulation are required. The JETRO Chairman also pointed out that there is still room for potential growth in the IT area in which there are possibilities for increased imports from India and investments by Indian companies. He also asserted that high cost of investment should not be a barrier to India’s investments in Japan.

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Mr. Ashok Soota
President, CII

Ashok Soota is the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In an interview with Amitabha Sen, Mr. Soota said that with global opportunity for ITES projected at US$ 611.4 billion by 2005 and given the growth rate of the industry in the country, India has the potential to address more than a third of the market...

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Mr. Kiran Karnik
President, NASSCOM
Kiran Karnik is the President of Nasscom. In an interview with Amitabha Sen, Mr. Karnik said that to ensure a larger share of the the global IT business, Nasscom is formulating strategies to build up a strong India Inc. brand. Indian industry, he feels, needs greater presence and visibility in various international IT forums. It's an on-going process. To ensure greater involvement of the Indian IT in globalisation process taking place in other parts of the world, Nasscom is intensely interacting with its counterparts in other countries...

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