Describing India’s rapidly growing road and highway network as a “Goldmine” for all stakeholders, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has invited US investors to invest in the road and highway infrastructure of the country.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), 17th Indo-US Economic Summit, themed – ‘Bouncing Back -Resilient Recovery Path Post Covid-19’.

Nitin Gadkari said: “He sincerely hopes more and more US companies will come and invest in the road and highway projects in India which is the goalmine for all stakeholders.”

Observing that particularly insurance and pension funds have tremendous opportunity for investment in India’s road infrastructure, Mr. Gadkari assured better returns for them compared to those garnered in the US.

Talking of the Government’s efforts to boost production and adoption of alternative transport fuel such as ethanol and emphasis on last mile connectivity through several modes of transport, he noted that there are opportunities for American companies to invest in research and development of mobility technology in the country. Mr. Gadkari was of the view that both India and the US would play a major role in the post-Covid global economic recovery.

Mr. Gadkari further said that the bilateral trade between the two countries, which has increased from $16 billion to $149 billion in just two decades, is projected to cross the $500 billion mark by the year 2025. “We need a new thought process and a creative agenda to create new pathways for economic recovery.”

Speaking at the inaugural session, Dr. Lalit Bhasin, the Summit Chair, Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), said that the pandemic presented innumerable challenges in economic fronts, but such challenges are also opportunities that can motivate for scaling up in the bilateral economic value chain.

“Pandemic has taught us to reform the business models, to go further up in the digital space, become more inclusive and at the same time global in our outlook,” he added.

Mr. Rohit Kochhar, Regional Vice President, Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), described the current period as a “watershed moment” for the Indo-US relations. “I say this because our partnership is not just centered around business and economics, but also assumes great significance in view of recent geo-political developments. Increasingly, there are a host of areas where our concerns and interests are both intertwined and complementary,” he said.

He observed that throughout the pandemic, the United States continued to remain not only India’s top trading partner but also the largest investor in the country. “We therefore enjoy a place of great prominence in the global economic landscape, and with this, we carry a huge responsibility as torchbearers- in this journey of recovery and resurgence,” Mr. Kochhar added.

Dr. Lalit Khaitan, Chairman & Managing Director, Radico Khaitan Ltd., said that as the world is slowly recovery from the impact of the pandemic, new ideas are floating around regarding what should be the factors and tools for the path of recovery.

“There is a broad consensus among economists and experts that the business models that would unfold will be essentially different from the one that guided us in the pre-Covid-19 days,” he added.

Among those who attended the session were Ms. Aileen Nandi, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs US – FCS, Mr. Arun Karna, Regional Vice President, IACC, and Mr. Purnachandra Rao Surapaneni, National President, IACC.

The summit this year has focuses on four verticals that can spur growth and at the same time build synergies between our economies. They include sessions on infrastructure and logistics, artificial intelligence, financial services and insurance and a session on food processing.