GST will give boost to bilateral business ties: US to India

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WASHINGTON: : Bullish on expanding economic ties with India, the US on Sunday said bilateral trade has reached $109 billion and it will get a further boost from new reforms including GST even as it flagged persisting concerns American firms have on issues related to business climate in the fast-growing economy.

HIGHLIGHTS
India-US trade is up at $109 billion
GST, reforms will push trade but US firms are concerned about business climate
US is ready to increase engagement to find new common ground on WTO discussions

US commerce secretary Penny Pritzker, who will be on a 3-day India visit from Monday, also said that travel and tourism and sub-national engagement have been identified as two new areas of focus to drive commercial cooperation between the two countries in 2017, under which the focus would shift from India and the US to Chennai and Charleston.

She said the Obama Administration in the past seven-and-a-half years has made significant progress toward realising the potential of what could be one of the largest commercial relationships in the world.

"Our two countries enjoy a thriving trade and investment relationship. US-India bilateral trade reached $109 billion in 2015, up from $37 billion in 2005.
"US and Indian companies are also investing in each other's economies at record levels. In 2015, US investment in India reached more than $28 billion and Indian investment in the United States reached more than $11 billion. In fact, US affiliates of Indian-owned firms now employ more than 52,000 workers in the US," Pritzker said.

She exuded confidence that "India's rapidly growing economy and the Modi government's ambitious reform agenda, including the landmark Goods and Services Tax, passage of the recent national bankruptcy law, and liberalised foreign direct investment limits in key sectors, point toward a deeper economic relationship in the years ahead."

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