New York: With India committed to establish itself as the world’s manufacturing hub, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has asked the US corporates to look at India as a long term business and investment opportunity.

Sharma made a strong pitch for India at a business event in US, hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and US India Business Council (USIBC) in New York on Wednesday.

He outlined various policies undertaken by the Indian government to invigorate manufacturing and to create, the right conditions for inviting investments into the country, according to a CII media release.

Highlighting the steps taken by the government to spur business and investments in the country, Sharma spoke about the National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) being set up across India and the single window approval mechanism for investments.

He also mentioned the fast-tracking of critical infrastructure projects, use of technology to minimize paperwork for investment proposals, efforts to tackle the emotive issue of land and the establishment of a cabinet committee on investments chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

While acknowledging that 2012 was a difficult economic year for India, Sharma pointed to the country's strong fundamentals such as thriving domestic demand, a high national investment rate (35 percent) and a high savings rate (31 percent) as factors, which will continue to drive economic growth.

Anand Sharma particularly emphasized that US and India share a larger, strategic relationship with deep and growing engagements in sectors such as aerospace, nuclear, defence, agriculture, information technology, communications, science and technology.

He also pointed out to the strong two-way investment flows, with USD FDI in India pegged at USD 32 billion and Indian investments into the US projected to stand at USD 13 billion.

UN goofs up with Indian ministers' name

The United Nations Media Department on Thursday made a faux pas when it identified Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma as his Cabinet colleague Kamal Nath. Kamal Nath had served as Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Industry from 2004 to 2009.

Sharma, who is leading a high-profile business delegation to the US, called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday morning and an alert, which was sent out to various media outlets read - "Photo Opportunity: The Secretary-General with HE Mr Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce Industry of India at 10 am on the 38th floor."


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