In­dia-US trade may reach $500 bn over 10 years: Goyal

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - BUSINESS - Ra­jeev Jayaswal ra­[email protected]

NEW DELHI: In­dia and the US can reach trade deals of a much larger scale at a faster pace, and aim for a tar­get of $500 bil­lion in bi­lat­eral trade over the next 10 years from the ex­ist­ing $160 bil­lion, com­merce min­is­ter Piyush Goyal said on Tues­day.

The US and In­dia have agreed to en­ter into ne­go­ti­a­tions on a Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA), Goyal said at a busi­ness con­fer­ence, hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said trade ne­go­tia­tors of the two coun­tries had made “tremen­dous progress on a com­pre­hen­sive trade agree­ment” and he was “op­ti­mistic” about a deal.

“What­ever will be done, will be done for the best in­ter­est of the stake­hold­ers in both the coun­tries,” Goyal said.

Re­leas­ing a re­port on a $500 Bil­lion Roadmap in the evening, Goyal said In­dia and the US were en­gaged in a “true spirit of friend­ship” and “to my mind this ($500 bil­lion in bi­lat­eral trade) is cer­tainly achiev­able”.

The re­port, jointly pre­pared by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII) and the US-In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil (USIBC), high­lighted three pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios in which the tar­get can be at­tained—by 2030, 2035 and 2052.

The “Soar­ing” sce­nario as­sumes pos­i­tive pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory moves and a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in trade en­gage­ment, bring­ing bi­lat­eral trade growth to 11.8% and reach­ing the $500 bil­lion mark by 2030. Un­der the “Chug­ging” sce­nario, the bi­lat­eral trade re­la­tion­ship and key driv­ers of eco­nomic growth largely re­main un­changed at a 7.9% growth rate, mak­ing the tar­get at­tain­able by 2035.

The “Limp­ing” sce­nario as­sumes a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the In­dia-US trade re­la­tion­ship with bi­lat­eral trade grow­ing at an an­nual pace of 3.9% over the next sev­eral decades to cross the $500 bil­lion mark in 2052.

Goyal said he is con­fi­dent of achiev­ing the tar­get fast be­cause the two coun­tries talk to each other as equals and have a com­mon­al­ity of pur­pose.

In a chat at the US-In­dia Fo­rum: Part­ners for Growth con­fer­ence, or­gan­ised by the Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (Ficci), in­dus­try sec­re­tary Gu­ruprasad

Mo­ha­p­a­tra stressed the need to in­crease bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries to $500 bil­lion with­out men­tion­ing any time­line. Ac­cord­ing to the $500 Bil­lion Roadmap, trade ten­sions be­tween the US and China could be an op­por­tune oc­ca­sion for a ma­jor fil­lip to In­dia-US trade ties. Many Amer­i­can com­pa­nies are ac­tively ex­plor­ing al­ter­na­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions to re­lo­cate manufactur­ing sup­ply chains and In­dia could be a com­pet­i­tive des­ti­na­tion.

The re­port listed in­ter­ven­tions in 13 spe­cific ar­eas which, if re­solved, will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant thrust to trade be­tween the two coun­tries by turn­ing chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties.

At a sep­a­rate ses­sion on the en­ergy part­ner­ship, petroleum min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han spoke about in­creas­ing en­ergy im­ports from the US.

PTI FILE

Com­merce min­is­ter Piyush Goyal

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