US India to explore ways to expand commercial ties

Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second visit, India and US will hold their first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue here next week as they look for ways to expand their bilateral trade to $500 billion.

Noting that during President Barack Obama’s January visit to India the two countries had projected a target of $500 billion of trade, Indian ambassador to the US, Arun Singh said, “clearly new ways and mechanism has to be found for deepening this interaction.”

“This will happen as we progress further in terms of making in India, in terms of expanding infrastructure in India and as we tap the opportunities that are there in digital technology renewable energy and innovation,” he told Indian media Tuesday.

There are lot of events happening around the strategic dialogue reflecting ongoing activities related to trade and economic cooperation and the potential in this regard, Singh said.

Reflecting the desire of both sides to deepen the partnership, Peterson Institute for International Economics, a research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy, will be releasing a report Friday exploring possible ways of expanding India-US partnership.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a leading think tank will also have a discussion on Monday first in the presence of ministers and then in the presence of CEOs of companies again to explore the opportunities.

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal will be part of the dialogue .

India US CEOs forum will also meet Sep 21. An energy dialogue, a health dialogue, and a science and technology dialogue will also be held.

India already has lots of cooperation in the energy field including in terms of technology partnership.

Later Monday evening, US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will address a conclave of corporate America.

Other high-ranking government officials as also captains of industry from both countries, will also address the US-India Business Council’s 40th Annual Leadership Summit.

The largest bilateral trade association in America, USIBC, is comprised of over 300 top-tier US and Indian companies advancing US-India commercial ties.

US State Department John Kirby, meanwhile, told reporters that the US was “very much looking forward to the discussions” as “There are a spade of issues that we want to continue to work on with India.”

“It’s a strong relationship; we want to find ways to make it stronger, whether that’s the economic through development programmes, and just increase cooperation on the security front,” he said.

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