The Alliance for U.S. India Business (AUSIB) has welcomed a high-level U.S. trade mission led by Commerce Secretary John Bryson which arrived in India on Monday to conduct talks on a series of issues including export opportunities for U.S. firms in infrastructure and investment opportunities in the United States.
The mission will hold talks over five days with senior Indian officials on these initiatives, which are key priorities for the Obama administration.
This is Bryson’s first visit to India as Commerce Secretary. The mission began in New Delhi, and will continue till March 30 with visits to Jaipur and to India’s business capital, Mumbai.
AUSIB, which has undertaken numerous initiatives since 2004 to foster business partnerships between firms in the United States and India, has attached considerable importance to this trade mission to India. Secretary Bryson’s visit is significant as India is planning to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure development over the next five years. The U.S. mission will seek to draw attention to many U.S. firms with skills and expertise in the sector, which could partner with Indian firms.
Another objective of Secretary Bryson’s mission is to support the President’s Select USA initiative. This is the first federal effort to promote and facilitate business investments in the U.S. from foreign and domestic firms. India is viewed as a priority market under this initiative in view of its emergence as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
As a part of its goals, Secretary Bryson’s mission will also promote a new national tourism strategy that is aimed at creating American jobs. In 2011, the total spending by Indians traveling to the U.S. increased to $4.6 billion- a 15% rise as compared to 2010. The U.S. also registered a $2.2 billion surplus in travel and tourism from India.
On Monday, two U.S. Trade and Development Agency grants supporting U.S. business investments in India’s energy infrastructure development were signed in the presence of Bryson. Prior to this, he spoke at an event focused on infrastructure, hosted by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICC).
On Tuesday, Secretary Bryson will deliver remarks at a round-table luncheon sponsored by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and prior to that, he and the delegation will hold their bilateral talks with Indian officials. The IACC event will discuss issues such as infrastructure procurement and investment opportunities in Growth in Emerging Metropolitan Sectors (GEMS) cities, including those which are a part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project.
The current trade mission is part of the Commerce Department’s initiatives aimed at achieving President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, and create more better-paying jobs, as also assist thousands of companies exporting for the first time. Data released by the Commerce Department on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the NEI in March 2012 revealed that between 2009 and 2011, jobs supported by U.S. exports increased by 1.2 million and the value of U.S. exports was more than a record $2.1 trillion.
*About AUSIB*: Since its inception in 2004, the Alliance for U.S. - India Business (AUSIB) has been assisting organizations in the two countries to explore opportunities and build strong trade and business collaborations. It has been taking numerous initiatives to foster new channels of communication between business and government leaders in both the countries.
AUSIB has led more than 15 delegations from the U.S. to India and vice versa comprising senior university leaders, policy makers and Congressmen.
Co-chaired by India’s Minister for Law & Justice and Minority Affairs, Salman Khurshid and former Disinvestment Minister, Arun Shourie, AUSIB is based in Virginia with offices in New York, California, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Pune.
Follow AUSIB on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.