"India is ready and open for investment and US is eager to move in," said Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC), the apex trade and business advocacy group for American businesses having a foothold in India.

Aghi, who took the reins of USIBC this month, said the American companies were particularly looking at the USD 1.5 trillion investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

The success of USIBC, which is celebrating its 40th year would be measured by increasing bilateral trade to USD 500, he said.

"The challenge is there, but I look at it as an opportunity," he said on Tuesday.

"The government of Prime Minister Modi has embarked on a journey. Expectations are high. When you try to turn a large ship, it takes time. When you try to change the environment, it does take some time. It is going to take probably longer time," Aghi said.

Welcoming Aghi as the new head of USIBC, the Indian Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Taranjit Singh Sandhu said the relationship between India and the US has never been as strong as they are today.

"The recent bilateral summits between Prime Minister Modi and President Obama has resolved some of the long pending issues that were holding progress in practical areas of co-operation," he said.

A former chief executive and member of the Board of Directors at L&T InfoTec and president of IBM India, Aghi replaces Ron Somers, who resigned about a year ago and is now heading a Indian-centric consultancy firm.

The reception was attended by American corporate leaders, policy experts, diplomats and think-tanks.

Formed in 1975 at the request of the US and Indian governments, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organisation advancing US-India commercial ties.

Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the US, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 325 of the top-tier US and Indian companies.

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