US trade mission to explore business, lure Indian investment

March 21st, 2012 - 10:49 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 21 (IANS) US Commerce Secretary John Bryson will lead a three-city trade mission to India next week aimed at exploring business potential of India’s “rising infrastructure sector” and encouraging Indian investment into the US.

During the March 25-30 mission with stops in New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, Bryson will also address concerns on market access, trade investment and removing barriers to level the playing field for American businesses and workers, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday.

The department also announced the names of 16 companies that will join Bryson on his mission for building stronger US-India commercial relations, his first as Commerce Secretary.

Bryson will meet with senior level Indian government officials to advocate for US export opportunities in India’s rapidly expanding infrastructure sector, and promote investment opportunities in America-both key priorities of the Obama administration, the announcement said.

“This mission builds on President Obama’s historic visit to India two years ago, when he said before the Indian Parliament that the US-India relationship will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. I couldn’t agree more,” said Bryson.

“I am looking forward to connecting American business leaders to new opportunities in India’s rising infrastructure sector, and encouraging Indian businesses and individuals to invest in and visit the United States.

“India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and its large market presents an important opportunity for US companies to sell their goods and services to some of the 95 percent of consumers who live beyond our borders and boost job creation at home,” he said.

India is expected to spend over $1 trillion on infrastructure development over the next five years, and a growing consuming class could lead to increased demand for a range of consumer goods and services, the announcement noted.

The 16 companies participating in the trade mission are: Autodesk, Black & Veatch Corporation, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, CH2MHill, EHDD, GE, Innovari, Jacobs Engineering Group, LORD Corporation, Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch, MeadWestvaco Corporation, OSISoft, PwC, Syneren Technologies Corporation, Target Engineering Group and URS Corporation.

India is America’s 17th-largest merchandise export market, and its 13th-largest trading partner. From 2002 to 2010, US services exports to India more than tripled, increasing from $3.2 billion in 2002 to $10.3 billion in 2010.

Between 2002 and 2011 US goods exports to India more than quintupled, growing from $4.1 billion in 2002 to more than $21.6 billion in 2011.

In 2010, the total stock of investment directly from India in the United States was $3.3 billion, but when Indian investment that transferred through other countries is included, the total stock jumps to $7.1 billion.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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