New Delhi (ANI): Director of US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Enoh T. Ebong on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, revealed that the Indian portfolio, which consists of approximately 200 activities in energy transportation and digital infrastructure, has the potential to unlock $37 billion in financing.
“In our estimation, the portfolio itself, approximately 200 activities across sectors that I talked about, including energy transportation and digital infrastructure, has the potential to unlock $37 billion in the financing,” Ebong said.
Elaborating further, the USTDA director said, “The estimate that I gave about what our portfolio can unlock totally focused on India and the ($37 billion) financing can come from a whole range of players. We prepare projects that can be financed by the private sector, public sector, and multilateral banks.”
She went on to say, “We want to make sure that these projects get implemented. So, making sure that financiers have the confidence in the projects through having them properly prepared is where we put the focus on and we are very excited about the strength of the portfolio.”
Responding to a query about USTDA’s position on India’s green hydrogen push, she said the USTDA was interested in collaborations with India in harnessing the new technology.
“I’ve heard so much about the plans that the country has, a mission and a task with respect to green hydrogen and we are very interested in exploring collaboration in this new technology. We are focused on preparing and helping to bring in technologies, including new ones, to the point where they can do finance,” Ebong added.
On the functioning of the USTDA, the director said, “Our mission is to advance sustainable infrastructure in emerging economies around the globe in collaboration with US industry. For 30 years, we have partnered with India’s private sector, state governments and federal government to contribute to the development of infrastructure projects that they have identified as their priorities.”
“USTDA provides grant funding for feasibility studies technical assistance, and pilot projects. USTDA also funds partnership-building activities between government and private stakeholders to support our shared goals,” she added.
Also, on Wednesday, Ebong announced that the USTDA has launched a new partnership with eight state governments of India, as part of which there will be an inter-state clean energy procurement program where an agency will fund and train public procurement officials with the ultimate goal of implementing clean energy projects that are of the highest quality and give people in India the best value for their money.
The eight states are Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
“This focus on states is important because a great deal of infrastructure development is taking place at the state level,” she said.
Ebong also said the USTDA has also announced feasibility study funding that will enable agile networks to expand broadband connectivity to more than 30 million underserved people in rural and Per-urban communities in 16 Indian states.
On future areas of collaboration, the USTDA director brought up the aviation cooperation program, which includes airport master planning or air traffic management, saying, “I think using satellite and new navigation, new navigation technologies, as well as passenger safety and security and screening of baggage.”
On the Indo-Pacific economic framework, she added, “We at USTDA are very delighted and even excited with the launch of Indo-Pacific economic framework because it’s an agency that focuses on infrastructure development. It is completely consistent with what we do and all of our work.”
Later in her address, she brought up her visit to Gujarat’s Gandhi Ashram which she called inspiring, especially as it coincided with the Martin Luther King Day.
“I was honored to visit the Gandhi Ashram on the US holiday of Martin Luther King Day. It was an incredibly meaningful opportunity to be at that place on Martin Luther King Day. King referred to Gandhi as his guiding light, which was very inspiring,” Ebong said.