Biden makes sales pitch to India Inc

Biden makes sales pitch to India Inc

US Vice-President Joe Biden on Wednesday in his interaction with business leaders pitched for further expanding the rapidly growing economic cooperation with India and hoped the bilateral trade to grow five-fold if the two countries made the right choices.

Delivering a lecture on 'US-India Partnership' at the country's premier bourse, Bombay Stock Exchange, Biden said, "Our bilateral trade has increased five-fold to touch $100 billion in last 13 years. We see tremendous opportunity and there is no reason that if our countries make the right choices trade cannot grow five-fold or more." 

Describing India as a ‘rising power’, Biden lauded its plans for future growth. He observed India had ‘risen exponentially’ over the past decade primarily because of the bold steps it took in 1991 towards liberalisation. Also, he continued, economic reforms enabled India's exports surge from $20 billion to $300 billion.

He welcomed relaxation of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in certain sectors but said a lot more needed to be done to remove trade barriers.

“We still have a lot of work to do on a wide range of issues, including limit in FDI, inconsistent tax system, barriers to market access, civil nuclear cooperation, bilateral investment treaty and policies protecting innovations,” Biden, who is the first US Vice-President to visit India in three decades said.

The US Vice-President was also appreciative of India's role in the region saying, “We welcome India's engagement in the region and its efforts to develop new trade and transportation links by land and by sea in the area.” Acknowledging the contribution of Indian expatriates to America's growth story, Biden said, “The US has benefited due to Indian human capital”.

Dwelling on Indo-US cooperation in the civil nuclear field, he said a power project of 6,000 MW could be set up in Gujarat with supply of nuclear reactors from American companies.

At the same time, Biden appreciated India's concern over its food security needs saying those would be addressed at the upcoming WTO meeting in December.

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