South and Central Asia: U.S.-India Trade and Economic Cooperation


The growing economic relationship between the United States and India has been a foundational element of the U.S.-India relationship and strategic partnership. Our bilateral trade expanded fivefold from $19 billion in 2000 to $97 billion in 2013. The United States and India have committed to working together to facilitate greater investment in both directions, to open new Indian sectors to private investment, and to address impediments to growth that will enable trade between our countries to grow another fivefold.

  • Smart Cities: The United States welcomes India’s offer for U.S. industry to be lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh). Building on the positive momentum of the September 29-30 Global Cities Challenge workshop held at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Commerce plans to conduct a series roundtable discussions with other U.S. Government agencies and U.S. industry groups with their Indian counterparts to identify actionable solutions and plans to design and implement novel infrastructure platforms for new Indian smart cities.
  • Digital India Initiative: Under the Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in the Field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics, the United States and India agreed to partner on the Digital India initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, and digitally empowering India’s citizens. The two sides tasked the U.S.-India Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Working Group to finalize details of cooperation by the upcoming India-U.S. Technology Summit in November in New Delhi.
  • Infrastructure Collaboration Platform: The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Indian Ministry of Finance agreed to establish an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform that will include mechanisms to identify and clarify critical infrastructure needs of India; provide a single Government of India point of contact for coordinating across ministries; and work with U.S. and Indian industry to facilitate a substantial increase in U.S. industry participation in the execution of Indian infrastructure projects in such sectors such as power, water, sanitation, transportation, safety and smart cities. Senior Commerce Department officials will lead a pair of trade missions to India in 2015 focused on infrastructure opportunities in India.
  • Bilateral Shared Forum on Manufacturing: Through a Bilateral Shared Forum on Manufacturing, the U.S. Department of Commerce looks forward to hosting delegations from the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry on a visit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2015 to learn how NIST supports U.S. manufacturers to innovate and grow through its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The delegations may also visit one or more MEP centers in U.S. states.
  • Cross-Border Trade and Investment: In order to facilitate greater confidence in cross-border trade and investment, the United States and India are working to resolve outstanding tax disputes. In support of the SelectUSA and the Export-Import Bank of India partnership, cemented on July 30th, both organizations will work together to assist Indian companies and entrepreneurs as they seek to invest and create jobs in the United States.
  • Private Sector Investment: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has a robust portfolio in India with over twenty investments totaling $681 million. Clean energy investment in India has been a particularly strong focus area. To date, OPIC has committed over $500 million and mobilized more than $450 million in additional private capital in India’s clean energy sector.
  • Intra-regional Infrastructure Development: To support mutual interests to expand an Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor reaching to Burma and Southeast Asia, the Department of State and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency are collaborating with the Government of India to identify and advance critical ports, rail, aviation and intermodal infrastructure projects that accelerate linkages that will foster connectivity, increased trade and greater economic growth opportunities in this vital region. Emphasis will be placed on projects that open opportunities for U.S. business collaboration in partnership with Indian public and private sector interests.
  • Financing Infrastructure Development: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) plans to invest over $15 million in infrastructure planning activities in India over the next five years. USTDA will continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, through the Airports Authority of India, on aviation plans to expand its GAGAN satellite navigation system, which has benefits that extend beyond aviation to all modes of transportation. USTDA is working with Indian Railways to help identify methods to attract financing, including through public-private Rail Infrastructure Partnerships.
  • Aviation and Energy Cooperation: Recognizing the importance of growing U.S. – India cooperation in the critical aviation and energy sectors, the U.S. – India Aviation Cooperation Program and the U.S. – India Energy Cooperation Program have provided platforms for the public and private sectors of both countries to identify cooperation opportunities and establish commercial ties that are mutually beneficial. Supported by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and with cooperation from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, as well as various energy ministries and state-level energy departments among others, industry and government partners expect to carry out new programs in 2015 in aviation security and safety, energy storage and refinery modernizations, and other business collaboration areas.
  • Indo-U.S. Investment Initiative: The Ministry of Finance and the U.S. Department of the Treasury agreed to establish an Indo-U.S. Investment Initiative to facilitate investment in India by institutional investors and corporate entities. As part of the U.S. India Economic and Financial Partnership, the investment initiative will focus on deepening capital markets, especially debt markets, to support the long-term financing of infrastructure in India.

Collaborative Dialogues

  • U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue: The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry agreed to inaugurate the 2014-2016 term of the Commercial Dialogue with a pair of public-private roundtables on new areas of discussion that address key U.S. and Indian concerns with regard to manufacturing and infrastructure. One roundtable will be on market friendly approaches to innovation in advanced manufacturing. The other will be on corrosion prevention technologies and standards.
  • U.S.-India CEO Forum: The U.S.-India CEO Forum was designed to enable a forthright conversation both about immediate policy issues to encourage greater trade and investment as well as the longer term path for economic and business ties between our two countries. A reinvigorated Forum will serve as a platform for business leaders to highlight their needs, interests, and desired policy reforms for government consideration and action.
  • Trade Policy Forum: Recognizing the tremendous potential in our bilateral trade relationship, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry look forward to convening a Trade Policy Forum (TPF) to renew bilateral discussions on trade and investment policy issues of interest to the two countries such as intellectual property, investing in manufacturing, services and agriculture. Work under the TPF will encourage trade-related policies that promote investment and manufacturing in both countries through a regularized dialogue. As part of an ongoing commitment to strengthen engagement, both governments also agreed to establish a high-level working group on intellectual property under the TPF that will meet at the senior official and expert level to discuss the range of intellectual property issues of concern and interest to both sides.
  • U.S.-India Agriculture Dialogue: With participants from the public and private sectors, the U.S.-India Agriculture Dialogue promotes bilateral cooperation through a comprehensive approach to agricultural capacity building that is of practical and immediate benefit to the Indian farm sector. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has been working with India’s National Institute of Plant Heath Management to monitor and control pests and strengthen quarantine facilities.

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