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`Power shortfall may impede FDI flows'

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, APRIL 21. A top United States trade expert today warned that if foreign companies could not be assured of a stable and affordable power supply, they would not invest in India.

Addressing a seminar on Power Trading in South Asia, the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donahue, said: ``I meet hundreds of leading American CEOs every year and I can tell you that there is a growing interest in the markets and economies of South Asia. I (also) know what it takes to attract significant business investment in any region — it takes energy. If companies cannot be assured of a stable and affordable power supply, they will not come.''

Mr. Donahue also said that having energy resources was only a small part of the challenge. ``You must also have the systems, facilities and technologies to develop the resources, turn them into power and move that power across both real and artificial barriers to the marketplace. But even that is not enough. Government policies — at all levels — must be rational, fair and honest. They must be designed to spur investment, innovation and competition.''

Experts at the seminar highlighted the fact that India represented the single largest power market opportunity in the region and was the key player for facilitating expanded power trading in South Asia.

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