Trade between India and US could cross USD 100 bn this year

WASHINGTON: Trade between India and the US has increased by 40 per cent since the launch of India-US Strategic Dialogue by the Obama Administration three years ago and could cross the USD 100 billion mark this year, a senior administration official said.

The elevation of India-US relationship to that of a strategic dialogue in 2009 has produced real results for the well-being and security of the people of the two countries, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said.

The third annual session of the strategic dialogue was held in June this year.

“To take one example, the trade between our two countries is up 40 per cent since we began our strategic dialogue three years ago, and it may exceed, we hope, USD 100 billion this year,” he added.

Blake was addressing the Indian American community at an event organized by the National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA).

“Since India’s independence, and most notably over the last decade, we have woven the tapestry of cooperation into one of the broadest and deepest bilateral relationships in the world. Today, this is a relationship that knows no limits,” he said.

“On virtually every field of human endeavor, the US and India are partnering to shape a more secure and prosperous environment not just in our two countries, but throughout the world,” he added.

The US official appreciated the role of the Indian American community in strengthening ties between the two countries. “Today, we share with India a vibrant two-way exchange of entrepreneurs, executives, students, professors, and scientists that have come to serve as a model for others around the world. Our business ties have reshaped global commerce. Our education and research partnerships are forging new paradigms of innovation,” he said.

“And the common thread – from the classrooms of Chennai and College Park to the boardrooms in Bangalore and Baltimore – is the passionate and committed Indian American community.

One new area of cooperation is our effort to enhance US-India state-to-state and city-to-city dialogues,” Blake said.

“Think of all the exciting economic growth and activity in Indian states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and in American states like California, New York, and, of course, Maryland.

“These states act as laboratories of innovation and new partnerships that we should leverage to deepen the overall US-India partnership,” Blake said.

Maryland Governor O’Malley went to India last December and upon his return to Annapolis announced nearly USD 60 million worth of business deals for Maryland companies, he said.

Economic engagements ranged from discussions on biotechnology, renewable energy and infrastructure, to commitments to increase Indian imports at Maryland’s harbors, to agreements for a Baltimore-based firm to help construct an amusement park in Mumbai, Blake said. -PTI

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