India and the US today resolved to use the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) mechanism to further elevate mutual trade and investment, while noting that strong commercial ties have defined their growing partnership.
In an otherwise sluggish global economy, bilateral trade between India and the United States has held steady, and bilateral investment flows have grown over the last two years, their joint statement released after the 2nd India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue here.
They noted the “significantly increased” government-to- government engagement on economic and commercial topics undertaken in the past year under the S&CD.
“They resolved to continue to institutionalise and use the S&CD to elevate their ambitions and accomplishments in mutual trade and investment,” the statement said.
External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of India Nirmala Sitharaman co-chaired the dialogue with US Secretary of State John F Kerry and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Recognising the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to spur growth and create jobs, India and the US also committed to creating a platform for sharing of best practices and technology, in addition to access to finance to promote integration of these SMEs in global value chains.
Recognising the success of the ongoing smart city collaboration in Visakhapatnam, the two sides resolved to launch a follow-on phase that will deliver an integrated master plan.
They resolved to continue reverse trade missions from the MOU partner cities (Ajmer, Allahabad and Vishakhapatnam) to look at smart solutions for their respective cities.
The sides looked forward to working on the Plan of Action developed for mutual technical cooperation for issuance of municipal bonds by Pune, the statement said.
The leaders noted the recommendations of the US-India CEO Forum and acknowledged the crucial role of the Forum in strengthening our partnership on commercial and trade related issues. They acknowledged the value of closely integrating the CEO Forum with the Commercial track of the S&CD.
“In line with the CEO Forum recommendations, a number of concrete measures have been undertaken,” the statement said.
Taking note of the India’s ‘Startup India’ initiative to foster greater entrepreneurship and innovation, the two sides committed to further collaboration between Indian and the US startups, venture capitalists and other stakeholders.
The statement said the two sides also look forward to co-hosting 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.
To move forward on this engagement, they signed a Statement of Intent to Co-Host GES 2017.
India plans to launch an initiative which deploys leading Indian entrepreneurs to advance Startup India and inspire the next generation of successful innovators.
The two sides also noted President Obama’s US Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship Initiative, about which the US. side intends to share information.
The countries also expressed satisfaction at the useful exchange of information and best practices on improving the ease of doing business (EODB).
They resolved to continue to exchange information and discuss best practices on trade facilitation, licensing and permitting, insolvency, public procurement, transparency and other relevant topics.
In addition, they announced the launch of an EODB Private Sector Outreach Series, to raise industry awareness of key economic policy developments and gather feedback from stakeholders. The Sides also resolved to launch a ‘US-India State Spotlight Webinar Series’ to highlight business opportunities and key EODB reforms in select U.S. and Indian States for private sector stakeholders.
To encourage the broader adoption of value-based procurement methodologies in India’s civil sector, the countries resolved to take forward an MOU between the Indian Department of Expenditure and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and also look at the best practices of USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative.
They also welcomed the collaboration between NIST and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on sharing of best practices on WTO-Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) enquiry points.