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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
30-August-2016 20:15 IST
Statement of the Commerce &Industry Minister at the Joint Press Briefing

INDIA US STRATEGIC AND COMMERCIAL DIALOGUE

We had a fruitful and productive meeting at the 2ndStrategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) meeting which was held today.Both the sides appreciated the intense engagement between India and the United States under various work streams and various economic initiatives under the S&CD mechanism. It was assessed that ties between the United States and India have never been stronger – as reflected by unprecedented commercial cooperation, high levels of bilateral trade and highest ever FDI inflows to India in 2015-16, especially from the US.

In the morning, Secretary Pritzker and I held discussions with the US and Indian CEOs and took into account their extremely valuable suggestions on economic development initiatives. I thank the US CEO Forum co-chair Mr. Dave Cote and Indian CEO Forum co-chair Mr Cyrus Mistry for successfully articulating major concerns and recommendations of the CEOs on both sides, which will form an important input for our ongoing work under the S&CD. A number of recommendations made during the previous two editions have already been acted upon. Based on the CEO forum recommendations we have agreed to take a focussed intervention in the following areas:

(a) We have launched a transparent Government e-market place (GeM), developed by DGS&D. We have agreed to look at best practices exchange with GSA, Advantage which deals with Government procurement in the US.

(b) We will work on best practices on procurement models and will look at collaboration between the Department of Expenditure and USTDA.

(a) Taking forward innovation and entrepreneurship work stream, we have agreed to focus our attention on Small & Medium scale enterprises. We would be looking at creating a platform for sharing of best practices and technology as also address issues of finance and market access for SMEs and thus promote their integration into global value chains.

(b) We have agreed on a programme called “Silicon Valley comes to India’ which will have experts from USA coming to India to interact with start ups and provide the required momentum to Indian entrepreneurial eco-system.

Under the Commercial track of the Strategic & Commercial Dialogue, Secretary Pritzker and I had extensive discussions on bilateral economic initiatives and reviewed the progress made since the last S&CD under the four work streams relating to infrastructure collaboration and smart cities, ease of doing business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and standards. Both sides welcomed the addition of Travel and Tourism as a new work stream for future collaboration.

We took note of the progress in infrastructure and smart cities collaboration such as the Smart Cities Business Development Mission to India, Reverse Trade Mission to USA by the Andhra officials. It was agreed that the USTDA will collaborate with the Andhra Pradesh Government for facilitating Integrated Master Plan Development. USTDA collaboration with Ajmer and Allahabad to facilitate their proposal for the Smart City challenge stage would continue. The collaboration initiated for municipal bond with Pune would also continue.

We were happy to share that reforms in commercial law such as the bankruptcy code and policies such as Make in India have yielded remarkable benefits facilitating ease of doing business in India.

The off-shoots of our constant focus on innovation are there for all to see - India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has shot up 15 places this year. India and the USA have agreed to co-host the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, which will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, educators, government officials and business representatives from around the world, creating new opportunities for investments, partnerships and collaborations. We have signed a GES Statement of Intent for this event. We have decided to work together to see how US companies and investment bodies tap the opportunity of India’s infrastructure projects through mechanisms like the “National Infrastructure and Investment Fund”. Both sides will also facilitate collaboration in research in health sector, specifically focusing on non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular ailments, diabetics and cancer.

We welcome the exchange of best practices in the area of standards and outcomes of the Roundtable organized by the CII in association with standards regulators of both the countries. We discussed the NPL and NIST collaboration which would look at both developments of reference material production and collaboration on physical, mechanical, electronic standards. A technical delegation on standards to US is also proposed which will engage with NIST on reference material production, conformity assessment and standards. BIS will also engage with NIST on TBT Enquiry point and sector specific guides. We agreed to encourage the CII-ANSI partnership for development of standards portal and other initiatives as per the MoU signed during last S&CD.

We agreed to make a new addition to existing work streams under the S&CD on partnership in the Travel and Tourism sector. Both sides recognize the huge potential for engagement in advancing bilateral trade in travel and tourism services and it was agreed to observe 2017 as the Travel and Tourism Partnership Year. Given the increased tourist movement between both the countries, the cooperation in the areas of best practices in tourism administration and marketing, public-private partnerships, diversification of travel and tourism expertise, niche markets, and promotional activities are likely to benefit both the countries.

Both countries discussed their priorities for economic development and the policies initiated to achieve these objectives and agreed to continue their engagement for fulfilling the potential for bilateral trade between the two largest democracies in the world.

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MJPS