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US will continue to be key market for Indian services, products: USIBC & KPMG Launch Report

In recent years, the commercial relationship between the US and India has matured significantly. Over the past decade, two-way trade has grown significantly to approximately $120 billion today. With the U.S. Presidential Administration’s focus on the Indo-Pacific, the US-India relationship has the opportunity of a century to reset the region’s dynamics and there is every reason to be positive about India’s growth story. At the back of its very strong and far-reaching reform agenda, India is now witnessing enhancements in global benchmarks – whether it is in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, Moody’s rating, the Global Innovation Index, or the Global Competitiveness Index.

This report is the outcome of the meeting the U.S.-India Business Council Board of Directors held with the Prime Minister in September 2018. During that meeting, we discussed how industry can work with the government on big ideas and outcomes to show collective impact to our communities.

The Report focuses on seven key areas where the work of industry is naturally complimentary to the Governments objectives: Providing Quality Healthcare; Doubling Farmer Income and Supporting Agricultural Output; People to People Ties Through Investing in Education, Tourism and Skills of the Future; Manufacturing & Infrastructure for the 22nd Century; Affordable Energy; Defense and the Aerospace Industrial Ecosystem; and Promoting India’s Digital Leadership.

Over the last four years, India has witnessed significant improvements in doing business- removing red tape and regulatory bottlenecks through steps such as abolishing the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) have been welcome moves by the Government of India. India was the only economy in South Asia to join the list of the 10 top improvers in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing business ranking. Then there were other key structural reforms- the Government has repealed 1,420 obsolete laws in the last 3 years, and focused on overhauling India’s infrastructure sector. At a time when foreign direct investment is lower globally, India recorded the highest inflow of FDI in 2016 at $60.1 billion.

But despite achieving some momentum with these reforms, India still remains shy of a bold trade agenda that can catapult in to the projected $ 5 trillion economy by 2025. Although two-way trade and investment between the United States and India has significantly increased in the past decade, there is vast potential to cultivate this relationship not only in Washington and New Delhi but also in states and cities across both nations. That is why I am pleased that USIBC and KPMG have collaborated to develop a roadmap on further reforms for the business community.

Prime Minister Modi has laid out an ambitious strategy for continuing India’s economic transformation- the “New India 2022”- a series of milestones for India to achieve by the country’s 75th anniversary. The vision is predicated on inclusive growth and development and highlights the role of the private sector in bringing the benchmarks to fruition. American companies and USIBC stand as committed partners to this effort. Now more than ever, government and industry need to work together to achieve the development goals and outcomes that neither can achieve alone. USIBC is committed to partnership with the Indian Government and to deliver positive outcomes for society.

Download the report here