Rejuvenating the Partnership
The IACC organised Indo-US summit looked at ways to enhance bilateral trade and overcome policy roadblocks

India & US discuss the way forward in bilateral trade at IACC, also seen in picture is Kapil Sibal at the event
India & US discuss the way forward in bilateral trade at IACC, also seen in picture is Kapil Sibal at the event

The strategic partnership between India and the United States is under a lot of stress these days. One of the main reasons behind this situation is the government policy that restricts trade and investments. Although the total bilateral trade in 2013 was more than USD 90 billion (up from 62 billion in 2012), business communities in both the countries feel they are still restricted while doing business. To unlock the true potential of the India-US strategic partnership, both countries need to work together in removing bureaucratic and policy obstacles in their respective countries. It was these concerns that saw the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) organise the seventh edition of Indo-US Resurgence Summit on December 2 in New Delhi. The aim was to look at innovative strategies that can enhance the bilateral trade and overcome policy roadblocks.

In the defence sector, cooperation between the two countries is increasing. In 2013 alone, major US platforms such as C-17 Globemaster III and P-8I joined the Indian armed forces giving a much needed push to force modernisation. India also signed a deal for additional six C-130J aircraft in December 2013 while negotiations for military helicopters are on track. There are also several talks about co-developing Stinger and Javelin missiles in India. However, the same argument on increasing cooperation cannot be extended to other areas of business. Union minister for communications and information technology and law and justice minister, Kapil Sibal, urged the US Government to invest in areas that can enhance the buying capacity of India. “They (US investors) are interested in selling their aircraft, defence equipment, but that is not the way to converge in this partnership,” he said. “You need to invest in agriculture, medical (sector), electronics and education,” added Sibal.

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