India, US eye 5-fold increase in commerce

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Eyeing to increase 2-way commerce by 5 times from the current level of $ 100 billion, India and the US have vowed to expeditiously address all trade and investment policy issues to remove obstacles and improve business environment in both countries.

In this context, the 2 sides, after talks between prime minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama, expressed their commitment to concluding a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty that will foster openness to investment, transparency and predictability, thereby supporting economic growth and job creation in both countries.

They also agreed to consider establishing a Joint Committee on Investment in Manufacturing.

“Noting that 2-way trade has increased 5-fold since 2001 to nearly $ 100 billion, President Obama and prime minister Singh agreed that there are no insurmountable impediments to bilateral trade increasing an additional 5-fold,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.

“The leaders welcomed progress towards increased engagement by experts from both governments, underlining the need for expeditious progress to address all trade and investment policy issues of bilateral concern so as to remove obstacles and improve the business environment in both countries,” it said.

The statement said that Obama expressed confidence that the ongoing Indian economic reforms and policy measures to liberalise India’s economy would accelerate economic growth, opening greater avenues for trade and creating jobs in both countries.

In this respect, the leaders recognised in particular the role and contribution of the Indian and US Information Technology industry and the IT enabled service industry in strengthening India-US trade and investment relations, the statement said.

The leaders also committed their officials to work toward a successful outcome at the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Bali.

Obama and Singh emphasised the dangers that high oil prices can pose to the global economy and the need to increase oil market transparency and emergency response collaboration, through closer coordination and bilateral dialogue.

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