India, US resolve to address specific trade concerns
India and the US on Tuesday resolved to address specific trade concerns, expand bilateral trade, remove market access barriers, and improve ease of doing business.
A joint statement issued after Fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue also said the two nations decided to put in place a framework to advance cooperation in Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET) such as advanced communication technology, artificial intelligence, quantum science, STEM, semi-conductors and biotechnology.
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III, Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar participated in the dialogue.
The dialogue was preceded by a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden.
The statement said the ministers underlined the importance of strengthening the commercial and economic pillar of the India-U S partnership to advance economic growth and deliver mutual prosperity for both countries.
They appreciated the rebound in bilateral trade between the two countries over the last year, surpassing USD 113 billion in goods.
They also welcomed the 12th ministerial-level meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and the renewal of Working Group discussions to expand bilateral trade, remove market access barriers, and improve ease of doing business.
"They looked forward to both sides developing action plans that identify and prioritise the resolution of specific trade concerns to build on the progress made during the last TPF ministerial meeting," it said.
The ministers noted the substantial progress in negotiations for an Investment Incentive Agreement (IIA) between the governments of India and the US.
It provides a framework for DFC to continue to expand its investment in India - for private sector-led projects in critical areas such as renewable energy, agriculture, healthcare, and SME financing.
The ministers encouraged negotiators to resolve remaining issues so that IIA may be concluded as soon as possible, the statement said.
The ministers reaffirmed the vital role of secure, resilient, reliable, and diverse supply chains for Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET), and the need to enable regional and global innovation.
"The ministers decided to put in place a framework to advance cooperation in CET such as advanced communication technology, artificial intelligence, quantum science, STEM, semi-conductors and biotechnology," the statement said.
Ministers from the two nations reiterated the importance of a transparent and predictable business environment to facilitate private-sector investment.
The two countries will be looking forward to reconvening the India-UBS Commercial Dialogue and the CEO Forum this year to enhance economic cooperation, boost commercial ties, and develop private-sector recommendations for both governments.
The US also appreciated recent economic reforms in India, which help improve the ease of doing business, and efforts to accelerate the startup and innovation sector.