INDIA SHOULD AIM AT BECOMING USA’s LARGEST TRADING PARTNER: KAMAL NATH
Date : 22 Jun 2006
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has said that India has the potential to become USA’s largest trading partner and that to realise this ambitious target “barriers that keep our markets apart in many spheres and restrict our trade in goods as well as services must be removed”. The Minister said this while addressing the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington today on the theme of “Enhanced US-India Trade: The Way Forward”.
Indo-US merchandise trade is today about US $ 25 billion and the services trade is estimated at another $ 20 billion. The rate of growth is remarkable, but bilateral trade could be much more, he said.
Referring to the performance of the Indian economy and investment opportunities in India, Shri Kamal Nath said: “India’s showing of 8% GDP growth for the past three years (an average of 7% over the past decade), is riding on this solid entrepreneurial base, as is our 102 billion dollar exports and 140 billion dollar imports, (and also our 162 billion dollar foreign exchange reserve). It is the manufacturing and industrial sector which offers the best opportunities for American investment – an investment of both dollars as well as of technology”.
Stating that centres of economic gravity would gradually but inevitably move eastwards – from the Atlantic Ocean towards the Indian Ocean, Shri Kamal Nath said that with this the gap between Asia and the West would get reduced. “In such a scenario, what better strategic economic partner could the US opt for other than India? And conversely, I must agree that India too very much values having America as her partner as we navigate the 21st century – we want to navigate it together”, he said.