Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, US Department of Commerce was recently in Mumbai to attend an interactive session with the Indian industry organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, US Department of Commerce was recently in Mumbai to attend an interactive session with the Indian industry organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). She said that the purpose of her visit in Mumbai and at the Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi was to open up new avenues that can help reinvigorate and deepen the economic ties between US and India. She said, “The United States has a vested interest in seeing India succeed, in seeing this nation reach its full economic potential-and we want to be an essential partner in meeting your goals.”
Secretary Pritzker said that she believes that businesses can act as key bridges between the two nations and their economies and they can be the cornerstones of friendship and sources of strength for the US-India relationship. Owing to her association with Indian partnerships during her career with the private sector, Pritzker said that she completely understands the huge important of business connections. She emphasized that the actions of her team will continue in the rest of the week with the Strategic Dialogue, which is a mechanism to reinvigorate, re-energize and strengthen the US-India economic relationship.
According to Pritzker, developing infrastructure, improving manufacturing and encouraging government to create a business climate that is more open to global investments are the three key areas that US would like to focus on for its initial efforts. She said that these objectives are in line with the priorities set by the new government led by Modi. Pritzker assured that the US is willing to support India by sharing its best practices and all possible knowledge and expertise to succeed in these areas. She expressed optimism that the bilateral trade between India and the US that currently stands at USD 96 billion has the potential to grow in multiples. She urged Indian business leaders to come forward and take the lead for the same.
Ajay Shriram, President CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Ltd. said that the results of the 2014 general elections spell the aspiration for stability and growth. He lauded the new Prime Minister’s initiatives and his maiden budget. Expressing the government’s clear intent to promote India as an investor friendly destination, Shriram said that the investment relation between the two nations is strong in both directions and both have contributed significantly to each other in terms of investment capacity, skill sets, employment opportunities and social development. He added that CII believes that bilateral economic engagement can jump-shift rapidly in the wake of the US economy’s recovery and Indian economy pulling through a trough.
Citing that the two countries enjoy not only strong trade ties but also meaningful human interaction, CII President Shriram said that there existed a huge opportunity for partnership in the areas of cyber security, defence, agriculture, education and skills development, energy security, entertainment and media. He expressed the need to get over the trade stagnation witnessed by the two nations in the last two years and set the target for economic engagement at $500 billion as the next step in strengthening bilateral ties.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General CII, said that CII hopes to strengthen its ties with the US Department of Commerce further in the years to come. He said, “CII is glad to see the resumption of several bilateral dialogues, including the US-India Strategic Dialogue which is scheduled to take place tomorrow in New Delhi. We hope that other dialogues such as the Trade Policy Forum, Private Sector Advisory Group, Commercial Dialogue, among others will soon resume. I also hope that the US-India CEO Forum can be revitalized—it could be a tremendous platform." He assured that CII is committed to strengthening and reinforcing the bilateral ties between the two countries.
The US is India’s second largest trading partner, and India ranks 11th in USA’s list of trading nations. The two-way trade grew more than five-fold since 2000 and currently stands at more than $96 billion. American and Indian companies invested over $28 billion and $9 billion in India and US, respectively, resulting in significant job creation.