Minister Anand Sharma and Secretary Bryson of US Commend India - U.S. Commercial Dialogue
Commerce, Industry and Textile Minister of India, Shri Anand Sharma, and United States Commerce Secretary John Bryson reaffirmed today their governments’ commitment to further strengthen the India-U.S. economic partnership as an important element of the vision of the strategic partnership between the two countries outlined by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.
Minister Sharma and Secretary Bryson expressed satisfaction with signs of recovery of economic growth momentum in India and the United States. They emphasized the importance of sustained global economic recovery, a stable Euro Zone, stability in the international commodity and energy markets, and open international trade environment, for accelerating economic growth and enhancing prosperity in their countries.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction that bilateral trade in goods and services now exceeds USD 100 billion, making the U.S. the largest trading partner for India, and India one of the fastest growing markets for the United States. They welcomed the double-digit growth in trade ties between the two countries during the past two years, the rising flow of investments in both directions and growing role of innovation in the India-U.S. partnership. They noted that growing ties in areas like infrastructure, aviation, defence, energy, higher education, financial services and information technology are making bilateral economic ties increasingly broad-based. They welcomed the launch of a USD 2.0 billion Infrastructure Debt Fund in India in March 2012, with the participation of Indian and U.S. financial institutions.
Minister Sharma and Secretary Bryson commended the contribution of the bilateral institutional mechanisms, especially the India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue, in the admirable growth in bilateral economic ties in recent years. They attached particular importance to the opportunity that the Commercial Dialogue and other bilateral mechanisms provide for exchange of views with the private sector.
The two leaders welcomed the successful round of Commercial Dialogue, chaired by Commerce Secretary of India Dr. Rahul Khullar and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, in November 2011. They agreed to renew the Commercial Dialogue for another two years, i.e. till March 2014.
Minister Sharma and Secretary Bryson agreed that the Commercial Dialogue should encourage and facilitate exchange of ideas, best practices and experience on commercial issues between the two countries. It was mentioned that this was relevant especially as both countries are seeking to bolster their national manufacturing base, driven by innovation and advanced technology. Minister Sharma emphasized the significance of India’s National Manufacturing Policy which aims at raising the share of manufacturing in Indian economy and creating employment opportunities. The National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) will be established as Greenfield integrated industrial townships which would open up enormous opportunities for technology collaboration and assimilation and investment by U.S. companies. They also agreed to launch a dialogue on sustainable manufacturing and a dialogue on enhancing cooperation in standards (including for smart grids, intelligent transportation systems). They directed the two sides to use the Commercial Dialogue to stimulate trade and investment ties across all areas, and, in particular, infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture cold supply chain.
Minister Sharma thanked Secretary Bryson for his visit and for bringing a strong delegation of U.S. infrastructure companies. They agreed to continue their dialogue later in the year in Washington DC.