Obama to Meet with US Business Leaders in India

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Oct 27 (IANS) During his India trip, US President Barack Obama will meet top US business leaders, including India-born Pepsico chairperson Indra Nooyi, to "discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in India," according to the White House.

The business delegation meeting Obama will include Honeywell International Inc's David Cote, Boeing Co's Jim McNerney, General Electric Co's Jeffrey Immelt and Mcgraw Hill Companies' Terry McGraw, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told the Politico.

Obama and US Commerce Secretary Garry Locke will also speak at a Nov 6 Business Summit in Mumbai that is sponsored by the US India Business Council (USIBC), she said.

Obama has vowed to double US exports in five years. India, Asia's third-biggest economy, offers a rapidly growing market for US companies. Trade between the US and India more than doubled to $37 billion in 2009 compared with 2003, according to US Commerce Department data. In the first eight months of 2010, total trade topped $32 billion, Commerce figures show.

India is in negotiations to buy as many as 10 Boeing military transport aircraft. The sale of 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft may be valued at as much as $5.8 billion, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Boeing, the second-largest US defense contractor, expects to bid for $31 billion worth of military contracts in India in the next 10 years.

GE Hitachi, a venture between GE and Hitachi Ltd, and Westinghouse Electric Co are among the companies competing for contracts to build nuclear power plants in India.

GE has just won India's biggest single order for gas and steam turbines in an over $750 million deal for the expansion of a Reliance Power Ltd plant.

United Technologies, the maker of Otis elevators, Carrier air-conditioners, Sikorsky helicopters and Pratt & Whitney jet engines also is seeking to add sales in India.

Some of the CEOs Obama will meet with in India serve as advisers to the White House. Immelt sits on the president's outside economic board and McNerney heads the export council that the president formed in March. Cote has been appointed to his commission on cutting the federal deficit.


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