"As the assistant secretary for global markets, should I be confirmed, I would like to strengthen the focus on the markets offering the biggest opportunities for American products and services, and on orchestrating efforts to increase our market share in those markets," Kumar said during his confirmation hearing.
"I would make sure that my organization fully embraces efforts to work with cities and communities across this great country to attract foreign direct investment to create high-value jobs," Kumar said in his testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee chaired by Senator John 'Jay' Rockefeller. Kerala-born Kumar, a member of the board of directors of the US India Business Council (USIBC), said he has been deeply engaged in the mission of promoting US exports to India.
"In my new role, should I be confirmed, I will strive to execute our national priorities of increasing exports as well as increasing the amount of foreign direct investment in our country and our communities, both with the express purpose of creating valuable jobs here in America," he said.
He will also lead Select USA, US President Barack Obama's new initiative to promote foreign direct investment. Responding to questions, Kumar said the expansion of free trade agreements has been a big priority for Obama. "The country has 20 such free trade agreements. I would support all efforts that the president makes to expand free trade, including supporting him and the secretary on efforts to advance the goals of expanding free trade and perhaps using TPA as a way to make that more effective," he said. Recalling when he first landed at Boston's Logan Airport on the Labor Day weekend in 1978, Kumar said he would not have dreamt that 35 years later he would be in front of the "august" Senate committee.
Kumar said he had been inspired by the accomplishments and eloquence of America's historic leaders - Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln and moved by the words of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
"If I seemed shell-shocked then, today I feel a sense of awe and honor to be here in this great city where many of those heroes influenced the trajectory of this great nation." Kumar, who has worked with companies in North America, Europe and Asia, founded the US-India practice at leading professional services company KPMG to assist US companies with their entry into the Indian market and Indian companies with investing and operating in the US. (PTI)