Washington, Sep 21: Neither the US nor India can achieve its economic vision without the other, a top US official said here Monday as the two countries begin their first strategic and commercial dialogue. “Sustained engagement on the commercial side is new for this partnership,” US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said, announcing a new US-India Innovation Forum.
Saying that Indian government is making private sector investment safer and productive, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that through dialogue and trade, India-US economic ties are only going to get better.
“India stands out as ‘shining star’ in light of sagging global demand,” she said, noting without “taking potshots” at India’s neighbours that markets have held up pretty well in comparison. Sitharaman and Pritzker who are leading the commercial side of the dialogue were discussing US-India economic relationship at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank, as part of the US-India CEO Forum.
As India and US have set a goal of increasing their bilateral trade fivefold to $500 million in five years, the US Commerce Department is hosting the CEO Forum to increase the role of the private sector in the India-US engagement.
The CEO Forum is the primary mechanism for engaging the US and Indian private sectors and leveraging business leaders’ recommendations to shape policy making discussions. The event – US-India Economic Ties: Ready for Takeoff? – featured a discussion between US and Indian CEOs on efforts to deepen bilateral economic engagement.
Later on Monday evening, US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will headline a conclave of corporate America.
Other high-ranking government officials as also captains of industry from both countries, will also address the US-India Business Council’s 40th Annual Leadership Summit. The strategic side of the dialogue will begin with a ministerial plenary Tuesday co-chaired by Sushma Swaraj and Kerry.
Other engagements include an Energy Dialogue led by Power Minister Piyush Goyal and US Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, an official level Health Dialogue and a meeting of India-US Joint Working Group on Climate Change.