New Delhi: The US and India had agreed to enter into negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. This was stated by Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Government of India while addressing a Session on The India-U.S. Business Story: Opportunity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in cooperation with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India, the Ananta Centre, US – India Business Council and Indiaspora in New Delhi today.
According to the Minister, the FTA negotiations would be fast-tracked and he expected a much larger trade deal much more quickly. He stated that the USD 500 billion trade target set by the two governments was very much achievable. While releasing the CII – USIBC Report on “U.S.-India Bilateral Partnership: Aiming High”, he stated that the sectors highlighted by the report were in line with the discussions being held between the two Governments.
Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Government of India stressed on the need to strengthen the energy vertical of the US – India Partnership. He was of the view that this would be critical to help India transition to a gas-based economy. He pointed out that India was investing USD 60 billion in expanding the gas infrastructure in the country.
The Minister stated that India was already a major buyer of US crude and LNG. India was now seeking to step up its procurement of crude oil, LNG and metallurgical grade coal from the US. He called upon mid-sized industry on both sides to work together to collaborate and develop innovative solutions for this vertical.
In his address, Mr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade stated that the US and India were natural partners both in terms of trade and investment and the two should work together to find ways to help Indian companies participate in US Global Value Chains.