US to focus on 3 areas in ties with Narendra Modi govt

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 31 2014, 13:31pm hrs
The US government has identified three areas in which it would immediately look to work with the newly elected Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to US secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker.

These areas are infrastructure, manufacturing and creation of an investment climate in India that is conducive to global investment.

Prtizker was in Mumbai on Wednesday to engage with business leaders ahead of the India-US strategic dialogue that begins in Delhi on July 31. The event will be co-chaired by Indias home minister Sushma Swaraj and US secretary of state John Kerry.

The talks are expected to set the tone for Modis first meeting with US President Barack Obama in September during a bilateral summit in Washington.

Global investors are keenly eyeing India after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government assumed power in May and promised far-reaching reforms to jumpstart a slowing economy. The US, with which Indias bilateral trade stands at around $96 billion, is looking to tap into this opportunity by pitching in with its products and services.

Speaking at an interactive session with the industry organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Pritzker observed that the level of bilateral trade achieved by the two countries was small in comparison to the size of its economies. But the potential for growth in trade relations was immense, she said.

In 2012, even while confronting significant budget deficits, Indias leaders set a target of $1 trillion of investments in infrastructure, with substantial contributions from the private sector, Pritzker told business leaders. American companies want to help the scene in India, she added.