FORUM TO FOCUS ON INVESTMENT EXPANSION
By Arun Kumar, Washington, February 9, 2008 (IANS)
and tariff and non-tariff barriers will be discussed at an India-US
Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting and the first ever summit of their
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Chicago on February
20, 2008. India-US direct bilateral merchandise trade has exhibited
exponential growth over the last five years, increasing from US$18
billion in 2002 to US$38 billion in 2007(Jan-Nov) with US exports
growing by 75% last year.
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and US Trade Representative
Susan Schwab will co-chair the TPF, while the US-India SME Summit
will connect major corporate leaders in the two countries with their
at the TPF established in 2005 will focus on the five jointly identified
key areas: agriculture, innovation and creativity, which looks at
the broad gamut of IPR-related issues; investment; services and
tariff and non-tariff barriers. The meeting will also review the
progress made since the last TPF meeting in April 2007 in New Delhi,
according to the Indian embassy here.
with a keynote address on "Enhancing US-India Bilateral Trade
and Investment" by Kamal Nath and Schwab, the Indo-US SME Summit
is aimed at expanding cooperation, especially in the manufacturing
sector through leveraging the opportunities offered by global supply
two ministers would also be interacting with the Private Sector
Advisory Group (PSAG) set up at the last TPF meeting. The group,
which includes eminent persons from both sides, will be meeting
for the second time; the inaugural meeting took place in New York
in September 2007.
connecting major corporate leaders in the two countries, the summit
will address the process by which SMEs can amplify the global competitiveness
of firms of all sizes, according to the US-India Business Council,
one of its co-sponsors.
multinational corporations will offer case studies on the SME role
in maximising the global supply chain. In addition, government leaders
will offer a vision for enhancing the US-India trade and investment
relationship and describe synergies in the manufacturing sector.
strong delegation of India companies representing diverse industrial
sectors is expected for the summit. Speakers and delegates will
represent a variety of sectors, including general engineering, machine
tools, aviation, auto components, food and agricultural processing.
include the Boeing Company, the National Manufacturing Competitiveness
Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Export-Import
Bank in Washington D.C., and the State Bank of India (SBI).
summit will feature matchmaking meetings Feb 21 connecting Indian
and US SMEs and major multinationals to each other for new business
case study presentations on 'SMEs and Maximizing the Global Supply
Chain', the summit will have an address on "Strengthening US-India
Market Access" by Richard Stephens, senior vice-president of
The Boeing Company.
will also be panel discussions on A Vision for Future Opportunities;Financing
SME Competitiveness in a Global Economy; and Enhanced SME Partnerships:
Engineering and Manufacturing.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is
organising the summit with the support of the Ministry of Commerce
and Industry, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and USIBC.
India's manufacturing emerging as a new engine for growth, New Delhi
looks at US an excellent partner to consolidate its position as
a global manufacturing hub in the coming years. Chicago and mid-western
states of US, which together form the manufacturing hub of the US,
can play a special role in exploiting the synergies.
Nath will also be interacting with the local corporate community
at a luncheon organized by the Executives' Club Feb 19. Later in
the day, he will give a keynote remarks at an event co-organized
by USIBC and FICCI -"Investing in America: The Indian story".
SMEs contribute 40% of the country's manufacturing sector output,
6.75% of GDP and provide employment to about 20 million people.
More than 50% of the Indian exports are contributed by SMEs of which
about 15% is through indirect exports. India-US direct bilateral
merchandise trade has exhibited exponential growth over the last
five years, increasing from US$18 billion in 2002 to US$38 billion
in 2007(Jan-Nov) with US exports growing by 75% last year.
investments are also growing steadily. US happens to be the one
of the largest investors in India, contributing about 11 % to the
FDI actual inflows in India. While US investment into India during
2006-07 grew to $900 million, Indian investments in the US during
the period crossed $2 billion with 46 outbound deals from April
2006 to March 2007.
were equity investments made by Indian enterprises in joint ventures
and wholly owned subsidiaries. The investments by Indian companies
in the US during 2007 are estimated to be around $7 billion.