WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 31, 2014) — The U.S. Department of State on Thursday released a fact sheet on the U.S. and India Trade Policy Forum held this week. According to the State Department:
The United States and India share a strong and growing economic relationship, driven by entrepreneurial and visionary individuals, institutions, and businesses in both countries. This engagement, including trade, education, cultural, and familial ties, has always been at the leading edge of the U.S.-India relationship and strategic partnership, and continues to expand.
Our bilateral trade expanded from $19 billion in 2000 to $95 billion in 2013. U.S. goods exports to India totaled $35 billion last year, supporting an estimated 168,000 U.S. jobs. Cumulative Indian investment in the United States totaled $9 billion in 2012, supporting 100,000 jobs; U.S. investment into India exceeded $28 billion, and a survey of the largest U.S. employers in India indicates that U.S. investment supports half a million jobs in India.
Ongoing government actions to facilitate investment in both directions and open new sectors to private investment will continue to accelerate the economic growth, development, and increased prosperity that our deep economic engagement has delivered to both societies.
• The U.S.-India Infrastructure Platform: The U.S.-India Infrastructure Platform is a collaborative effort between the United States and India, anchored by the two Governments and operated in concert with our private sectors, to promote U.S. private sector engagement in India’s infrastructure growth and modernization. This effort will develop concrete business opportunities through the deployment of cutting edge U.S. technologies to meet India’s infrastructure needs, including power, urbanization, shipping, freight transportation and other areas.
• U.S.-India CEO Forum: The U.S.-India CEO Forum is a unique gathering of CEOs and senior government officials that last met on July 12, 2013. The CEO Forum enables a forthright conversation, both about immediate policy issues to encourage greater trade and investment, as well as the longer term path for economic and business ties for our two countries. The Forum also provides an avenue for both sides to identify ways that public-private collaboration could fill gaps in the market that neither would, nor could, pursue alone. The CEO Forum has facilitated new collaborative initiatives in key areas such as cold chain, infrastructure financing, aviation, clean drinking water, and renewable energy.
• Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor (IPEC) Strategy: Complementing India’s Enhanced Look East Policy, the United States envisions an Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor that can help bridge South and Southeast Asia – where the Indian and Pacific Oceans converge and where trade has thrived for centuries. Fostering these types of connections – physical infrastructure, regulatory trade architecture, and human and digital connectivity – will create linkages all the way from Central Asia to Southeast Asia, via South Asia. A more integrated South Asia where markets, economies, and people connect is more likely to thrive and prosper. The United States is firmly committed to the security and prosperity of the Asian continent, and connectivity, energy security, and open markets can help to realize that objective. In May 2014, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs-sponsored Research Information System for Developing Countries Institute hosted an international conference on cross-border connectivity featuring government officials, multilateral bank representatives, and private sector firms, highlighting existing and future efforts to connect India with Southeast Asia. The United States was pleased to participate and will continue to engage in these efforts.
• Aviation Security Equipment Testing and Evaluation Program: Supporting the two countries’ interest in increasing collaboration in the critical aviation security arena, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is funding the first aviation security cooperation project under the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP). The technical assistance effort, also supported by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and three member companies of the ACP, is designed to assist the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and India’s Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to establish an Aviation Security Equipment Testing and Evaluation Program (ASETEP) to modernize India’s aviation security environment in alignment with international standards and practices. The program will help India’s civil aviation security authorities to develop clear standards for state-of-the-art aviation security equipment as well as build the technical capacity to test and certify needed systems that scan carry-on luggage, checked baggage and passengers. Under the program a delegation of Indian security officials will visit TSA testing labs focused on aviation security.
• Regional Women’s Entrepreneurship: The United States and India continue to partner to improve economic opportunities for women. The Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Clean Energy (wPOWER), a State Department and USAID initiative, is training a network of over 1,000 women clean energy entrepreneurs to provide clean energy solutions to over 200,000 rural households. Launched in December 2012, the South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (SAWES) initiative is promoting cross-border partnerships to improve access to finance, markets, and capacity-building for women entrepreneurs across South and Central Asia. USAID also supports the Indian Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to provide vocational skills and leadership training to Afghan women. USAID is now expanding this initiative.
• Tourism, Travel, and Visas: In 2013, over 850,000 Indians visited the United States, and over one million Americans visited India, the largest group of foreign arrivals. The U.S. Mission in India has expanded its consular staffing and invested over $100 million in updating and expanding consular facilities to facilitate travel to the United States, processing ninety-seven percent of visa applications in one business day.
• Higher Education: Higher education is a vital part of our economic engagement. Indian students comprise the second-largest group of foreign students in the United States, with approximately 100,000 students studying in the United States in 2012-13. These students contribute over $3 billion to the U.S. economy every year, creating one American job for every three students. They advance innovation and research in our universities. With support from the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue, U.S. community colleges partner with Indian institutions to enhance economic opportunity in India through adoption of the community college education model and skills development best practices. The Higher Education Dialogue also creates enhanced opportunities for student and scholar mobility and faculty collaboration between the United States and India, as well as exchanges on technology-enabled learning. USAID supports the India-Support for Teacher Education Project which provides a three-month, customized training for 110 Indian teacher educators at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, enabling the teacher educators to offer high quality training to Indian teachers upon their return.
• Education Research Partnerships: The 21st Century Knowledge Initiative supports partnerships between higher education institutions in both countries to strengthen teaching and research in priority fields such as energy, climate change, and public health. The United States and India have each pledged $5 million to this Initiative. The Fulbright-Nehru program has nearly tripled since 2009, with approximately 300 Indian and U.S. students and scholars participating annually, making it the largest Fulbright Scholar Program in the world. Since 1950, the United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF) has awarded approximately 9,600 Fulbright grants funded by the U.S. Department of State in a full range of academic disciplines. USIEF has also administered 8,600 other awards, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays and the East-West Center grants, for a total of over 18,000 awards in the last 64 years.
• Strengthening Best Practices in Manufacturing: Identifying mechanisms for sharing best practices is essential to promoting commercial cooperation between India and the United States. By sharing best practices in innovation and economic development strategies with India’s Ministry of Urban Development through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Commerce seeks to strengthen partnerships with the Government of India and the Indian business community, focusing on infrastructure development, manufacturing and supply chain integration, skills development and business climate. NIST-MEP and EDA will host visits by Indian senior level officials to its MEP centers and EDA investment sites as part of this effort.
• Investment Promotion: SelectUSA and the Export-Import Bank of India cemented a partnership on July 30th. Both organizations will work together to assist Indian companies and entrepreneurs as they seek to invest and create jobs in the United States. The U.S. Department of Commerce also expressed appreciation to the Indian investors who participated in the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit, and committed to working with Indian officials and industry associations to recruit a strong delegation from India for the March 2015 Investment Summit.
• The U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue: The Commercial Dialogue provides a forum in which both governments and the Indian and U.S. private sectors can collaborate on issues of mutual interest, thereby ensuring that our trade relationship continues to grow and diversify. The U.S. Department of Commerce and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry have taken steps to renew the Commercial Dialogue for an additional two-year term until March 2016. Both sides share a strong interest in broadening the Dialogue engagement and are exploring new areas of cooperation, including encouraging the private sector to work with the governments on roundtables to promote innovation in advanced manufacturing.
• Trade Policy Forum: The Trade Policy Forum (TPF) enables the United States and India to engage on a wide range of policy issues impacting bilateral trade and investment. As part of an ongoing commitment to strengthen this dialogue, both governments hope to renew expert-level discussions on trade and investment policy issues of interest to the two countries such as intellectual property and investment in manufacturing. The TPF’s Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), composed of U.S. and Indian private sector leaders, plans to provide input to both governments.