New Delhi: Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that in an otherwise sluggish scenario for the global trade, the trade between India and US has gathered strength and the bilateral trade of more than $105 billion is a testimony to this fact.
Ms. Sitharaman was addressing the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) plenary in the capital today. Those present included John Kerry, Secretary of State, United States of America, Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, United States of America, Dave Cote, US co-chair of the CEO Forum, Cyrus Mistry, the Indian co-chair of the CEO Forum and Rita Teaotia, Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Commerce.
The Commerce and Industry Minister said in her speech that it has been the endeavor of both the countries to use the institutional dialogues like Trade Policy Forum and Strategic and Commercial Dialogue to address the issues being faced by the trade and to look at broader economic policy initiatives and I must mention that such engagements have been highly productive from the point of view of both the countries.
These mechanisms, Ms. Sitharaman pointed out, have provided appropriate platforms for sustained interaction between public and private sector to work together to identify newer areas of cooperation and to work around challenges and impediments to smoothen the flow of the relationship.
Our leaders, the Minister said, have agreed to an ambitious target of taking the bilateral trade to $500 billion and this would require both the sides to work in close cooperation and resolve impediments to trade.
Ms. Sitharaman further said that the initiative in bringing about the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is expected to overhaul the existing framework for dealing with insolvency of corporates, individuals, partnerships and other entities.
The Minister went on to underscore that there was significant progress on the recommendation of the CEO Forum as well as under our four work streams namely, Standards Ease of doing business Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Infrastructure and Smart cities.
In the last one year, the Minister said, there have been interactions during the Reverse Trade Mission visit from the United States; and collaboration between the Ministry of Finance and US Treasury relating to floating of municipal bonds to generate additional resources.
In pursuit of the Indian Government’s policy of minimum government and maximum governance, there has been a conscious effort towards making India a global hub for innovation, design and development Ms. Sitharaman said adding the Start Up India and Digital India initiatives are expected to provide the platform for entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas in a conducive environment.
The launch of the India US Innovation Forum in New Delhi on Auhust 29 was a good beginning, the Minister said adding that she was confident that exchange of ideas and best practices on an ongoing basis would help entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Ms. Sitharaman also pointed out that in addition to bilateral engagement, India is working closely with the US and other key stakeholders in important international foras, including the WTO and International Financial Institutions like WB and IMF and the UN Security Council for institutional reforms and unfinished agendas. India is also negotiating some important regional and mega regional free trade agreements with our partners like the RCEP and India-EUBTIA.
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