This Article is From Aug 29, 2016

Indo-US Trade Ties Have Broken Every Record: US Envoy

Indo-US Trade Ties Have Broken Every Record: US Envoy

US Ambassador Richard Verma said that Indo-US trade ties have broken every record.

New Delhi: Indo-American trade has "broken every record", be it defence or agriculture, and the recent reforms in India like the GST will further push economic ties between the two nations, the US said today.

The enhanced bilateral relations are a result of a significant increase in government-to-government dialogue, US Ambassador Richard Verma said.

"We have broken every record that we keep in every category... The highest two-way trade numbers ever between the countries last year has reached USD 109 billion; the highest defence trade numbers last year was USD 15 billion; we even did USD 6 billion cumulatively in agri trade," he said at the USA-India Innovation Forum in New Delhi.

It is a good story so far but "we can do better", he said. The recent reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bankruptcy Code, national IPR policy and relaxation of FDI norms would help in further pushing the economic ties between the countries, he added.

Mr Verma said India is working on improving ease of doing business and states too are competing with each other in this area. "We see competitive federalism taking place in states," he said, adding, "we are very excited and we really do believe that the best has yet to come".

The US believes this because India is currently the world fastest growing economy in the word, it will have the largest middle class, college graduates, holders, and mega cities.

"...two-third of the population is less than age of 35 and there will be massive investment in infrastructure... So, we are quite optimistic and we are quite excited about India," he said.

To achieve this, India would have continuously take reform measures on the policy sides besides stronger Intellectual property (IP) framework, Mr Verma said.

Everyone thinks that it's US companies complaining about IPRs, but when one heard from Indian innovators, their first two or three issues will be that "we need a better IPR environment here in India".

He also emphasised on the need for a change in business culture and focus on financing for industries.

Along with ease of doing business, India needs to focus on the important issue of financing, most of which would come from the private sector.

To stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, he said also emphasised on supporting people across genders.

He said greater opportunity should be provided to all the people and not just the well-offs.

Further, India and the US have made a lot of progress in areas like civil nuclear, defence and manufacturing, he said, adding that both the sides have also agreed to open consulate offices in each others' countries.