Indo-U.S. trade can grow to $500 billion soon: Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the Indian government was making every effort to put in place a predictable and fair tax regime, and invited U.S. businesses to help raise bilateral trade between India and the U.S. to $500 billion.

“There is need for us to have several internal changes, including quick decision-making, stable policies, predictable tax regime and improve ease of doing business,” Mr. Jaitley said in his address at the 11th Indo-U.S. Economic Summit. “Already the current Government is taking efforts to resolve several legacy issues that have brought adverse reputation to the Indian tax regime.”

The ongoing global financial turmoil would not affect India as much since the savings on account of declining oil and other commodity prices have helped the government allocate more funds for the infrastructure sector and social sector schemes, he added.

Mr. Jaitley further said that he hoped Indo-U.S. bilateral trade grew from the current $100 billion to $500 billion, adding that there were vast investment opportunities in India for American companies, especially in the infrastructure sector like roads, ports, railways and clean energy.

“Our objective is to build on Indo-U.S. bilateral relations. We have a large number of resources while they have the capital,” Mr. Jaitley said.

This summit, organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, was also attended by the U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma.

“Our bilateral trade in goods and services recently crossed the $100 billion threshold, five times what it was just a dozen years ago. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Obama, our governments are working together on increased engagement and new initiatives to reach the $500 billion goal in the years to come, Mr. Verma said in his speech.

The Ambassador added that another reason for optimism about the Indian economy was the ongoing endeavour to foster cooperative and competitive federalism. “I think we’re seeing an increasing ‘race to the top’ among Indian states to attract investment, including foreign direct investment, which will be good for India and for our relationship as well. You only have to look at the numbers to see that U.S. investments in India have soared — from a total of $7.7 billion in 2004 to $28 billion today,” he said.

Mr. Verma further said that Mr. Modi’s upcoming trip to the U.S. was creating a lot of excitement in the U.S.

>Earlier PTI story

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 2:24:53 PM |

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