US-India economic, trade and commercial picture improving: US Ambassador Richard Verma

Chenai, 13/7 : United States Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Monday that the bilateral economic, trade and commercial picture between his country and India is improving.

Addressing students and faculty of IIT-Madras here, Ambassador Verma said, “While economic reform measures may not often move as fast as some want, there has been steady progress in our commercial, trade and investment relationships, which bring significant benefits to both our countries.”

“Two-way trade numbers are up, and have surpassed US $103 billion, and increasingly Indian companies are opening and investing in the US. Foreign direct investment in India from American investors is on the rebound, and we’ve seen a very positive “race to the top” in the Indian states trying to compete for American investment, as they tout new regulatory reforms and improvements in the ease of doing business. And, some critical sectors like insurance and mining have become more open in recent months to outside ownership and investment,” he added.

Ambassador Verma further went on to say that both the United States and India were in intensive consultations over a bilateral investment treaty; having intense discussions on food security at the WTO; and have established robust dialogues and information sharing mechanisms on finance and tax.

“In fact, this past week, India signed a bilateral agreement with us to share information to deter and detect tax evasion and money laundering. The dialogues and information exchanges are imperative to resolving old disputes, like longstanding tax cases, while also ensuring our commercial connections grow stronger to help power both our countries’ growth,” he said.

“We are also lining up to support India’s priorities in developing India’s infrastructure for the 21st century and helping to deal with the massive urbanization challenges confronting the country in the years ahead. We are a close partner in the smart cities campaign and in three cities in particular we are bringing our financing, technology and expertise to bear to help plan and design more modern, safe and sustainable living spaces. We are also committed to supporting India’s plan to greater digitize its government services and delivery of benefits. Again, we believe our technologies and expertise will play a key role in this effort, ” he added.