India-US Commercial Dialogue: Aspects of bilateral trade & commerce relations discussed

India-US Commercial Dialogue: Aspects of bilateral trade & commerce relations discussed

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 14: Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday that India and the United States discussed ways of expanding bilateral trade and various aspects of India-US trade and commerce relations.

India and the United States held India-US Commercial Dialogue, chaired by Mr Prabhu, and India-US CEO Forum here.

Mr Prabhu had one to one bilateral telephone conversation with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and discussed various aspects of India-US trade and commerce relations.

Mr Ross, who could not attend the India-US Commercial Dialogue and CEO Forum because of unforeseen flight cancellation due to inclement weather and technical problems. However, he participated in the most of the sessions remotely through teleconference. He also participated in both India- US CEO Forum and Commercial Dialogue through teleconference with the CEOs from India and US and with Government officials from both sides.

'Had a cordial conversation where we discussed the ways of expanding bilateral trade. Mr Ross also addressed the CEO Forum meeting through a telecall and reiterated his belief in how private sectors can drive the growth in trade and commerce between the two countries,' Mr Prabhu wrote on Twitter.

The sides assessed the progress made during the year 2018 on the commercial track targets and appreciated the performance in the areas of standards, business climate and investment and travel and tourism.

Mr Prabhu and US Secretary of Commerce, Mr Ross expressed their resolve to work together to consider the recommendations for appropriate action.

During the conversation, Mr Ross thanked the government and the private sector for the continued partnership and assured the commitment to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.

Both sides resolved to further expand and strengthen trade and commerce ties. They appreciated the importance of bilateral engagements in mutually beneficial areas to address commerce and trade issues.

The CEO Forum was co-chaired by Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and American Tower Corporation President and CEO James D Taiclet.

The two Governments were represented by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Secretary Ramesh Abhishek and US Ambassador in India Kenneth Juster.

The Forum is an effective platform to highlight key issues that affect business entities and to identify areas for closer collaboration for mutual benefit of both economies.

It has met thrice after its reconstitution in December 2014 by the Governments of India and the US.

The CEOs from both countries, after detailed deliberations, provided their recommendations relating to energy, water, environment, information and communication technology, emerging technologies, digital infrastructure, entrepreneurship and inclusive growth, promoting small business, and infrastructure and manufacturing.

Both the Government representatives and CEOs expressed commitment to work together for benefit of commerce and industry in both the countries.

Appreciating the pivotal role of small businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the areas of manufacturing and services, the sides expressed interest in facilitating partnerships among businesses and institutions with a view to encourage best practices, conducive policies, and collaboration for SMEs in both countries.

The US Department of Commerce has taken the initiative to organise Trade Winds event which will bring in a lot of SMEs having interest in India in May, 2019.

Both sides agreed to constitute a private sector led SME initiative on the sidelines of this event.

The sides, assessing the progress made during the year 2018 by the standards work stream, welcomed the appreciable development on cooperation between the Indian National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the US.

The progress made by NPL in identifying sectors for reference material production was appreciated and it was hoped that the technical collaboration between the two institutions will enable NPL to commercialise the certified reference material development.

The sides welcomed the MoU signed between National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) of India and ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) of the United States for cooperation in matters related to accreditation.

The sides welcomed the progress made during 2018 on the MoU between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and appreciated the utility of an India-US Standards Portal in letting the private business know about the standards and the conformance procedure in each other’s territory.

Both sides appreciated the progress achieved under the Indian-US State Spotlight Webinar Series.

They noted the successful webinars conducted with the states of Odisha, Michigan, Washington, Texas, and West Bengal to highlight trade and investment opportunities in those states for US and Indian companies.

In an effort to ease the operations of US companies in India, a fast track mechanism has been established, under which two round tables were held in 2018 to address the concerns of these companies. In addition, three more roundtables were also conducted in 2018 with US companies for resolution of sector-specific issues.

Both sides noted the accession of Government of India to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Furthermore, both sides agreed to work together to promote innovation, creativity and technological advancement.

They also noted the government-to-government Working Group meeting held in February 2019 to advance the agenda of the Travel and Tourism Working Group, including engagement with private sector travel and tourism stakeholders on the topic of increasing travel and tourism between the two countries.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the conduct of the Commercial Dialogue, and look forward to holding the next round of the Commercial Dialogue in the US at a mutually convenient time, according to an official statement here. (UNI)