Bush, Manmohan Singh hold talks with CEOs

New Delhi, March 2:

Top corporate heads of India and the US today gave their wish list to Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and US president George W Bush to remove obstacles to free flow of trade and investment between the two countries.

Tata Sons chief Ratan Tata and JP Morgan Chase chairman William Harrison — co-chairs of the CEOs Forum set up last year — submitted their report to the two leaders that also specifies a road map to remove roadblocks in the way of enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations.

“Some of the recommendations have already been reflected in the decisions taken by us today,” said Manmohan Singh, addressing these corporate leaders jointly with Bush, at Hyderabad House. The CEOs Forum, set up during Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington last year, has 10 members each from the two sides and was tasked with finding ways to boost bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Some of the representatives of the American side have such clout that they can pick up the phone and speak directly with Bush and key administration officials, or ranking lawmakers.

Besides Tata, the Indian side on the forum includes Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, Y C Deveshwar of ITC, Ashok Ganguly of ICICI OneSource, Deepak Parekh of HDFC and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon.

Its other members are Analjit Singh of Max group, Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Prathap C Reddy of Apollo Hospitals and Baba Kalyani of Bharat Forge.