GUWAHATI, Sept 26 � Buoyed by rising investment potential in the North East, US Consul General Beth A Payne has underscored the need for increased investment in the region. �We encourage increased US investment in the North East as it has considerable investment potential, especially in the hydro-power, gas-based power projects, infrastructure and food processing sector,� Payne said in an interview with this correspondent. Payne further added that US power equipment companies like General Electric are already involved in gas-based power projects in Tripura.
�Energy is one of the key pillars of the strategic dialogue with India and we encourage US participation in such projects that provide affordable, clean and climate-friendly
energy,� she said. Replying to a question about possible investment from US companies in the infrastructure sector, the Consul General observed that the Indian Government has accorded top priority to uplift
infrastructure and connectivity in the North East. �We are working to build partnership between American and Indian private companies that will immensely benefit both the countries. We are also helping by connecting Indian entrepreneurs, officials and planners with their American counterparts, thus encouraging exchange of ideas,� she said while replying, to questions though e-mail.
Indo-US trade has been growing at a fast pace. It is estimated that Indo-US services trade would reach $150 billion by 2015, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry. India�s total engagement with the US is worth over $60 billion at present, out of which $40 billion is contributed by merchandise trade alone.
Hailing India�s �Look East Policy�, Payne revealed that this would foster economic growth and greater stability and security throughout the region. �India�s NortheasternState stand to gain from more free and open trade. We believe that India can play an ever larger role in promoting the benefits of free trade among friendly nations,� she said.