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US Exim Bank bullish over India’s $1-trn infra investment plans- commitment to clean energy

According to reports, US Export Import (Exim) Bank is bullish on India’s move to invest over $1 trillion in infrastructure during 12th Plan period — 2012-2017.

Larry Walther, member of the board of directors of the bank, told Business Standard, “Exim Bank sees India as one of the most dynamic and growing economies in the world with unlimited potential.”

Walther was part of a high-level delegation to the country with representatives of 16 US companies and agencies, led by Commerce Secretary John Bryson. The team is on a week-long visit.

Walther said Exim Bank has presence in more than 180 countries but has identified nine that offer great potential for US exports. “India is one of these countries. The size and potential of its economy and its rapidly growing population were major factors in it being selected. “US exports to India grew 17.1 per cent from 2009 to 2010. Also, the Indian government is expected to invest over $1 trillion in infrastructure over the next five years and has emphasised its commitment to clean energy,” he said.

US technology, products and services can help India meet its ambitious goals, he said.

According to Walther, the authorisation (outgo) for India stood at $2.9 billion in FY2010, up 32 per cent ($700 million) from FY 2009. In terms of exposure, India ranked second in FY 2011 at $7 billion, $1.3 billion behind Mexico. India’s exposure was 52 per cent and 19 per cent in FY2010 and FY2009, respectively. “India rose to first in bank authorisations and exposure in the Asian regional exposure while it had ranked 10th in Asia regional authorisations in FY 2010,” he said.

Walther declined to give specific numbers for the current fiscal or during the 12th Plan. However, he reiterated that US investors have a unique opportunity to invest in India’s aggressive plan to invest $1 trillion over the next five years in infra. He said the bank would finance aircraft, power projects (conventional and renewable energy), manufacturing and capital equipment, mining and information and communication.

“Exim Bank will assist US companies by guaranteeing, financing to creditworthy foreign buyers, both private and public sectors, for purchases of US capital goods and services. With Exim Bank’s loan guarantee, these buyers will be able to obtain competitive term financing from lenders when financing is otherwise not available or there are no economically viable interest rates on terms over one to two years,” he added.

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