The US on Thursday said there is “much potential” for increasing bilateral trade with India and the country needs to further improve its business environment and liberalise its economy to attract investments.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman, who is leading a high-level delegation here for the 10th India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting, said the country is proud to be India’s top trading partner and in 2015 their bilateral trade was over $109 billion.
“US is the number one destination for India’s exports purchasing more than 15 per cent of all Indian goods and services exports. India has a $30 billion trade surplus with the US, largest surplus it has with any country. But for economies of our size, 17 trillion dollars for the US, 2 trillion dollars for India, there remains much potential,” Froman said addressing a conference here.
Pointing out that businesses are keenly sensitive to the business environment while taking investment decisions, he said there needs to be continued work on improving the business environment if India wants to attract the kind of investment, domestic and foreign, that meets its aspirations.
“India’s has recently seen a positive trend in investment activity but it should not be complacent,” Froman said.
“To be home of globally competitive businesses and to ensure that Indian consumers fully access the benefits of the world economy, India should continue down the path opening its economy,” he added.
The US also asked India to adopt a comprehensive intellectual property protection policy saying it would be the key for development of robust knowledge-based economy.
Froman said reforms under the national IPR policy will be fundamental to preserving and promoting the innovation that characterises the Indian industry.