Lucknow: A business delegation from the US called on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday to explore investment opportunities in the state.

The delegation was led by United States-India Business Council (USIBC) chairman Ajay Banga and its president Ron Somers. The delegates lauded the state government initiatives like the Yamuna Expressway and several public private partnership (PPP) projects.

Somers inquired whether US firms were eligible for bidding in such projects, to which officials said the policies of the government required developers to have work experience in India and hence US firms would have to first form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Indian developers.

The prospective foreign investors were also impressed by the initiatives of the government  to improve "doing business environment" in the state. Somers said the recent interventions "were enough to awaken interest of American companies in Uttar Pradesh".

Assuring his government's commitment on creating congenial business environment in the state, the chief minister said the US companies were welcomed to "partner in the unprecedented growth envisaged across all sectors, particularly the infrastructure sector".

Banga said that USIBC would work hard to convince US business community to invest in Uttar Pradesh. "We will try to facilitate a full size US business delegation visit to the state in coming March," he said.The prospective investors also interacted with senior state government officials. On availability of funds in power projects, officials said that the state's equity was only in the form of land.

USIBC invited the chief minister for a US visit early next year.

(Agencies)

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