US eyes huge trade in India's tier II, III cities

"There is huge potential for trade in India in Tier II and Tier III cities and the US Commercial Services (USCS) in India will focus on them," she said at an interaction with members of Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association here last evening.

India's exports to the US stand at USD 21 billion per annum while it imports USD 16 billion worth goods from the country, Nandi said, adding that the Indian market was growing at a faster pace.

While textile sector and jewellery form majority of Indian goods headed to the US, aircraft components and medical equipment were most bought items from the America, she said.

She said the US trade was now centered around metros like Delhi and Mumbai, but this would change in due course with the efforts taken by the USCS wherein focus would be given to other cities too.

Overall, the potential for doing business with India was high, though as of now the country stood 13th among business partners of the US, she said. On import duty, she said USCS had requested the Indian Government to reduce the duty on various products. "At present for any company, the import duty costs around 28 per cent of the product cost and we are working towards bringing it down as Indian market is price sensitive."

On other target areas of USCS, she said it also focussed on student exchange programmes and partnership with educational institutions. Over the years, the number of Indian students in the US had been surpassed by Chinese students. USCS would work towards taking India back to number one position in this area.

She said energy efficiency was a major area in which her department was focussing in Tamil Nadu. It had been advising on alternative energy solutions, including solar power. Manufacturers should come up with specific products they would be able to supply when it comes to bilateral trade. The US companies were interested in investing in rubber industries. A delegation in this regard would take part in Rubber India Fair to be held in Chennai next month, she said.

Nandi also said the US Secretary of Commerce would visit India in February acompanied by 74 major US companies. Responding to a request from the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she assured to help if a delegation wanted to visit US to explore opportunities in the US market.

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