Secretary Pritzker today concluded a three-day trip to India, where she was honored to join the U.S. delegation traveling with President Obama. During the trip, she announced the expansion of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), reflecting the two countries’ commitment to strengthening commercial and economic ties. Secretary Pritzker will chair the new commercial components of the Dialogue.
The elevated S&CD establishes a framework that will strengthen the U.S.-India relationship and create new avenues of cooperation between our governments, our businesses and our peoples. The new commercial element of our most important bilateral dialogue will focus on our shared priorities of growing our economies, creating good jobs, and strengthening our middle class.
While the S&CD will be used to produce concrete results, the dialogue will also ensure that American and Indian businesses – small, medium and large – are in a position to capitalize on abundant opportunities that exist in both countries. In addition, the United States and India will use the dialogue to promote more trade and investment between both nations and to identify new opportunities for economic and commercial cooperation that will improve the lives of American and Indian citizens.
To build upon this announcement, Secretary Pritzker led a SelectUSA discussion with Indian CEOs interested in increasing their investments in the United States. The event was hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), India’s largest and oldest business organization, which was established in 1927. FICCI draws its membership from the public and private sectors, as well as various regional chambers of commerce. During the discussion, Secretary Pritzker emphasized that there is no better time to invest in the United States. She also highlighted the role that organizations such as FICCI and its member companies play in supporting SelectUSA’s efforts to promote more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. SelectUSA is a government-wide program, housed within the Department of Commerce, and will be hosting the SelectUSA Investment Summit on March 23-24, 2015.
Caroline Atkinson, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, Arun Kumar, Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, and Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA also joined Secretary Pritzker at the SelectUSA event.
Indian businesses have made $11 billion worth of investments in the U.S. as of 2013 and are our fourth-fastest growing source of FDI. As of 2012, Indian firms employed more than 43,000 American workers and exported more than $2 billion worth of goods from the United States.
To further discuss bilateral commercial opportunities, Secretary Pritzker met with several senior Indian officials including Chief Economic Advisor Dr. Arvind Subramanian, with whom she discussed specific areas of opportunity for U.S. firms based on India’s needs such as infrastructure and smart city development. Secretary Pritzker then met with Minister of Urban Development Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu to highlight Commerce’s role in facilitating U.S. public and private sector engagement in India’s smart city development.
Secretary Pritzker’s final bilateral meeting was with her counterpart, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. Their conversation focused on how to accelerate and deepen U.S.-India commercial ties, building upon their last encounter in July 2014 when Secretary Pritzker was in India for the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue.
To conclude her trip, Secretary Pritzker connected with more than thirty Commercial Service officers based in New Delhi. The Department of Commerce has seven Commercial Service offices with a team of 70 staff across India, and Secretary Pritzker thanked them for connecting Indian companies with state and local economic development organizations across the United States.