Over the past year, U.S.-India relations have been riding unprecedented momentum. National Security Advisers of both countries led the inaugural meeting of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, with a focus on expanding the nations’ strategic technology partnership, in January. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic state visit to the United States in June was quickly followed by the launch of the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem, a major advancement in the defense cooperation between the two nations. In September, President Biden made his own trip to India for the G20 summit, where plans were announced for a new rail and shipping corridor directly connecting India to the Middle East and Europe.
The desire for a deeper partnership with India is beginning to grow within the business community as well. Leaders from across the private sector, as well as global investors, want to be a part of one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world, and Indian leaders are looking for sustainable ways to help fuel that growth.
As part of their continued efforts to bolster collaboration and growth in the region, Ed Knight, Nasdaq’s executive vice chairman and chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), and Atul Keshap, president of USIBC, led a coalition of USIBC board members for a week of meetings with Indian Government officials and business leaders.
“At the heart of India’s diverse and dynamic economy is a new generation of startups and entrepreneurs working to establish the country at the forefront of innovation,” said Ed Knight, Nasdaq’s executive vice chairman. “At Nasdaq, we want to create an easier portal for Indian companies to access the global investment community. We know the Indian government will create the rules and requirements that are in the best interest of their citizens and economy, and we look forward to working closely with them to identify opportunities to bring global capital to Indian companies.”
Over the course of the trip, the delegation discussed how to make the business environment in India more conducive to global investment, looking for constructive ways to strengthen trade partnerships and create economic opportunities for Indian citizens.
Amid the conversations on how to deepen the U.S.-India commercial partnership is the opportunity for Indian companies to directly list on foreign stock exchanges. India has a vibrant startup ecosystem, but for these businesses to scale and reach their full potential, they need access to capital. Access to foreign capital via global markets could help unlock accelerated growth for Indian startups.
The government of India has expressed openness to exploring this opportunity. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs made an amendment to the Indian listing rules allowing companies to pursue direct listings on foreign exchanges. While the rules and requirements are still being finalized, this is nonetheless an important step toward further opening India to global investors and catalyzing accelerated growth for the Indian economy.
To go deeper, watch Ed Knight’s interview with CNBC-TV18’s Parikshit Luthra here and read his interview with the Indian Express here.