BANGALORE (February 9, 2011) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stressed the importance of innovation in the U.S.-India trade relationship today in Bangalore at a discussion with students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) before officially opening the U.S. Pavilion at Aero India 2011. Bangalore is the second stop of his three-city high-technology business development trade mission with U.S companies to India.
During the discussion at IISc, Locke interacted with students, research scholars, and professors at one of India’s premier educational institutions for science and research. Locke discussed how India’s efforts to build a more open commercial environment will help empower the next generation of Indian innovators to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems like climate change, poverty and disease.
“I’m optimistic and confident the world is equipped to deal with the challenges we face – and a big part of the reason is seeing young people like you,” said Locke. Because although these problems are daunting, they do have solutions. Many of them can be solved with the science, math and engineering skills that are taught and learned at IISC every day.”
The secretary added that unlocking the full potential of IISc students and researchers, and indeed the entire U.S.-India trade relationship, depended on India continuing to work towards “a regulatory infrastructure that encourages the freer flow of ideas, people, and technologies across its borders.”
Locke highlighted the importance of the aerospace sector to the U.S.-India trade relationship at Aero India 2011, India’s largest aerospace trade event. Locke joined U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer for the inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the U.S. pavilion at the show. U.S. participation in Aero India is the largest to date with over 40 U.S. companies.
Locke said that the U.S.-India partnership is “as strong as it’s ever been.” He added that, “high-technology defense sales are a cornerstone of our bond. This relationship has an incredible future ahead of it, and this pavilion is a testament to that fact.”
While at Aero India, Locke met with Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Group. Locke and Tata recently participated in the US CEO forum together during President Obama’s visit in November.
In the afternoon, Secretary Locke and nearly a dozen U.S. aerospace and high-technology companies met with Minister of Defence A.K. Antony and Indian government officials to strengthen the U.S. India strategic partnership and advocate on behalf of U.S. products and services. The U.S. businesses included ABSi Corporation, Aero Controls, Boeing, Fluidic Energy, FLIR Systems, Lockheed Martin, North Star Aerospace, Oshkosh Corporation, Pelican Products, Rajant Corporation, and Rapiscan Systems.
“The U.S. is committed to greater bilateral commercial collaboration and developing a strategic partnership with India that strengthens our global nonproliferation efforts, and creates trade opportunities in the defense and high-technology sectors,” Secretary Locke said.
Locke emphasized that the U.S. is committed to providing India with the most sophisticated technology and equipment.
In January, the Department published a regulation that removes the remaining Indian space and defense-relation entities from the “Entity List” and realigns India in the U.S. export control regulations to reflect its status as a Strategic Partner.
Building on the success of President Obama’s trip in November, Locke is leading a delegation of 24 U.S. companies to pursue commercial opportunities that will create opportunities for both countries. More than half of the companies are small and medium sized businesses.
The pace of trade between the United States and India is accelerating. Between 2002 and 2009, U.S. goods exports to India quadrupled, growing from $4.1 billion to more than $16.4 billion. Through the first eleven months of 2010, U.S. merchandise exports to India totaled $17.6 billion, up 17 percent from the same period in 2009. With economic growth estimates at about 9.7 percent in 2010, India is a key market for the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports in five years in support of several million U.S. jobs.
On February 7, 2011, Secretary Locke delivered the keynote address today at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) luncheon in New Delhi, where he discussed increasing the kind of mutually beneficial trade that provides win-win opportunities for both countries.
Locke added that seizing the full potential of our cooperation will require India to take further steps to open its economy, including: reducing a variety of tariff and non-tariff barriers; lifting restrictions on foreign direct investment; and improving the protection on intellectual property.
CII works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes.
Secretary Locke is in New Delhi as the first stop of a high-technology trade mission he is leading to promote exports of leading U.S. technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and homeland security, and information and communications technology. The mission will continue through February 11, and also make stops in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Locke is joined by a U.S. delegation of 24 businesses seeking to promote exports of leading U.S. technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and homeland security, and information and communications technology.
“We look forward to making continued progress, not just to lay the groundwork for more sales of U.S. goods in India, but to take another real step towards strengthening the bonds between the governments, the businesses and the people of India and the United States,” Locke said.
Locke’s major focus in Bangalore will be the aviation sector as he inaugurates the U.S. pavilion at the Aero India defense aircraft trade show and meets with India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony. India’s growing aviation sector offers U.S. aerospace companies an estimated $55 billion in export opportunities in large civilian aircraft and civil aviation infrastructure during the next five years.
Locke’s first stop on his visit was Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.’s (HAL) facilities. HAL is one of Asia’s largest aerospace companies, employing approximately 34,000 people with roughly $2 billion in annual revenue. The company has partnered with leading U.S. aerospace manufacturers – Boeing, Honeywell, and Lockheed Martin – on several projects. The U.S export content value for HAL is $40 to $50 million dollars annually with hundreds of millions in future export opportunities.
“HAL’s supplier and partnership arrangements with U.S. companies are producing tangible benefits for both our economies by generating greater industrial cooperation and commercial commitments, technology sharing, and high-value jobs in both countries,” Locke said.
Later in the day, Locke participated in an Aero India 2011 press conference with U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer, and met with American Chamber of Commerce and U.S. India Business Council delegates. U.S. participation in Aero India is the largest to date with over 40 U.S. companies.
Secretary Gary Locke also met with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma on February 7, 2011. The discussion focused on increasing the kind of mutually beneficial trade that provides win-win opportunities for both countries. Secretary Locke and Minister Sharma met during President Obama’s November visit to India.
“The U.S.-India bilateral relationship is stronger than ever before, and President Obama’s recent visit highlights the priority this administration places on this relationship,” Locke said. “We welcome the significant growth of investment and trade in goods and services between our two countries, but we believe our bilateral commerce is far from its potential.”
Locke raised longstanding and emerging issues – including market access barriers and intellectual property protection – facing U.S. companies in the Indian market. He encouraged enhanced consultations to resolve issues on both sides.
After their meeting, the two leaders were joined by members of a delegation of 24 U.S. companies for a discussion of how U.S. firms can provide goods and services in the nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and security, and information and communications technology sectors to meet India’s growing demand.
Locke is leading the delegation of U.S. companies on a business development mission to promote U.S. high technology in India. This is the first Secretary-led business development mission since 1997 and the first of several Commerce Department missions being planned for 2011. New Delhi is the first leg of the mission, which will also make stops in Bangalore and Mumbai.
The trade mission supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative which aims to double U.S. exports within five years supporting several million U.S. jobs.
Visit the Commerce Department’s India trade mission website at http://trade.gov/indiamission2011/index.asp for updates on the trade mission.