The U.S., India and the Middle East will form a triangular trade alliance in response to the European Union’s increasing integration with Central and Eastern European markets, Jagdish Sheth, a marketing expert at Emory University’s business school, told the Indian Professional Network during the Atlanta group’s monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, at downtown’s Haveli restaurant.

The recent surge in exports from India to the U.S., including such goods as designer clothes, processed foods, and small motorcycles and mopeds, was one indication of the emerging trade alliance, he said.

He also pointed to the plans of U.S. multinationals such as Ford Motor Co. to establish a major presence in India.  Ford has been studying the prospect of a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a leading truck manufacturer.

Indian companies also are active in Middle Eastern countries, according to Dr. Sheth, who cited efforts by Indian railroads to develop Kuwait’s transportation systems.

Since adopting new commercial codes in 1991, India has increased its commercial ties with the U.S many times over.  “It’s alliance with the Soviet market has collapsed,” said Dr. Sheth, adding that Europe is now increasingly involved with countries to its east while its involvement with India has decreased.

India also is aggressively seeking U.S. investment.  “The Indian economy will not develop on its own,” he said, explaining that to develop further it will have to rely on international lending institutions such as the World Bank and foreign capital.

Foreign investors will find a skilled work force agreeable to Western practices, he added.  Western airlines which recently have opened routes to India have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the labor force there, he said.

by  Nicholas  Babaian