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State has immense potential to attract US investments: Kota

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 24 - Assam has immense potential to attract investments from America in several key sectors, while, the Act East Policy can also help the entire North East region to become an attractive destination for investors, said senior IAS officer, Ravi Kota, who has been appointed as the Minister (Economic) in the Indian Embassy in Washington. Kota is an Assam cadre IAS officer.

The Minister (Economic) in the Indian Embassy in the USA heads the department and represents the Finance Ministry in the United States. The Economic Department in USA deals with finance, monetary and investment issues of India and USA and provides information about India�s investment climate. The Department also deals with the issues relating to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Only three Indian Embassies have such posts and the other two places apart from USA are London and Tokyo.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Kota, who is now working with the 15th Finance Commission and is scheduled to join his new assignment next month, said that as he is well versed with the condition and opportunities in Assam, he would not require special briefing from the State Government to create awareness about the investment potential in Assam among the potential investors from the USA.

Replying to a question, Kota said that Assam has the potential to attract investments from the US in several key sectors. He pointed out that there are enough opportunities to either attracting investments or collaborating in the energy sector as Assam has crude oil and coal. He said that as presence of sulfur in Assam coal is a major issue, efforts should be made to look for technologies to remove sulfur from coal to make it more suitable for use in the energy sector. He said that some US companies may have some technology and this issue should be explored.

The second major possibility is the tea sector. Kota said that apart from the conventional use, tea is now also used widely by the cosmetic industries and American companies might be interested in it.

Kota said that the third major area can be tourism. Assam can not only attract tourists from America but also bring in investments in the sector in a big way and such possibility should be explored. He also said that there is immense potential for attracting investments in horticulture sector and the possibility of exporting organic horticulture products should also be explored. He assured that during his tenure in the USA, he would try to work in these lines for the benefit of not only Assam but other parts of India.

Kota further admitted that most Indian IT companies have linkages in the USA and majority of the clients of such companies are in America. It would be part of his job as the Minister (Economic) to properly brief the potential investors about the investment climate and make them aware of the nuances of the bilateral trade agreements between India and USA.

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