India, US must boost bilateral trade to $500-600 bn: Govt
Mumbai: India seeks US partnership to boost various sectors and grow the bilateral trade to $500-600 billion from $125 billion currently, with a good strategy under a stipulated time, commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said here Thursday.
"The US-India bilateral trade is declining for various reasons and we should not be happy with bilateral trade of $125 billion. We must set a clear cut target of $500-600 billion in a stipulated time period. We are willing to come out with complete strategy and am sure that the companies from both country's will benefit," Prabhu said Thursday.
Speaking at a US-India Business Council event, Prabhu said that we can resolve some issues through talks. India offers lot of opportunities in sectors including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, start-ups and make "India-US partnership greater again" in line with President Trump's call of Let's make US great again.
The geo-politics has changed so much in the last few months, geo-economics is also changing rapidly. "In this context, I see a clear defined role and responsibility for US-India to work together not just for our mutual benefit but also for the benefit of rest of the world," Prabhu said.
India will become $5 trillion economy in the next 7-8 years and $10 trillion by 2035, he said.
India becoming economically strong would only mean, US has a friend and partner, who is stronger than before and strong India will be in the long term interest of US, he reiterated. The country's aviation sector is expected to provide big investment opportunity as it is one of the fastest-growing in the world and has recorded 50 months of double-digit traffic growth. As many as 100 new airports would be built in the next 10 to 15 years for about $60 billion, Prabhu said, adding that the country's infrastructure sector also offers investment opportunity of $250 billion every year.
India is looking setting up of special economic zones (SEZ) only for the US companies, he added.
Prabhu also said US-India must have specific programme for sharing information of start-ups from both the countries.
Further, he called US to join hands with India to explore export opportunities in 54 African nations, where both US and India can make joint pitch for exports of American and Indian products. Prabhu also urged the US to be partner with India to create new dynamic agenda for the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The minister said that the government will announce the new industrial policy soon. A key thrust in the proposed policy, which will replace the Industrial Policy of 1991, is to reduce regulatory hurdles and encourage adoption of technologies of the future such as robotics and artificial