Ease of doing business is key to boosting Indo-US bilateral trade and achieving the goal of increasing it to USD 500 billion, US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said on Monday.
Trade ties between India and the US have never been better and the two-way commerce has nearly tripled in recent years with India becoming the fifth fastest source if FDI to America, she said.
"The (Narendra) Modi Government has streamlined bureaucratic decision making processes, raised Foreign Direct Investment limit in insurance, defense and railroad infrastructure and establish commercial court that speed up the resolution of business disputes," Pritzker said, adding that the US commends Modi and his team for this progress.
The first India-US Strategic Dialogue, announced during the India visit of US President Barack Obama in January this year, is being hosted by the Secretary of State John Kerry along with Pritzker at the Department of State.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Monday to lead the Indian delegation for the dialogue which also includes Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
Ease of doing business, a step initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is key to boosting bilateral trade and achieving the goal of increasing it to USD 500 billion, Pritzker said.
"However, even with these positive steps, India is only America’s 11th largest trading partner and 18th largest export market. Our commercial relationship has simply not lived up to its enormous potential," Pritzker said at the event organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a top American think tank.
"We can only succeed by working together," she said, while calling for a heightened engagement between the private sectors of the two countries.
Top corporate leaders from both the countries were scheduled to meet here under India-US CEOs Forum to come out with its recommendations to the two governments. The forum has already established an work plan for the future, she said, adding she has received some 17 recommendations from them.
The initial work plan focusses on the joint priorities of the two countries, ease of doing business, infrastructure development, innovation and entrepreneurship, standards and global supply chain, Pritzker said.