Obama to focus on the economics of India-US ties

Obama to focus on the economics of India-US ties

Washington: The economic dimension of the Indo-US ties would be the focus of President Barack Obama’s India visit next week as the administration considers it as the most important emerging economic bilateral relationship, the White House said on Thursday.

“This (India) really is one of the most important emerging economic relationships for the United States, both multilaterally and bilaterally. We work very closely with India in the context of the G-20," deputy national security advisor Michael Froman told reporters at a special briefing on India.

“And the G-20 was really all about bringing countries like India to the table on global economic issues," he said.

He said with 1.2 billion people and an economy expected to grow at 8% over several years, the US sees India as a potentially very important market for US exports.

The US exports have already quadrupled over the last 7-year to about $17 billion, and service exports have tripled to about $10 billion a year.

“Indian companies are the second-fastest growing investors in the US and they are creating -- they now support about 57,000 jobs here in the US. So it’s a great market for US exports. It’s a good source of investment for the US.

“There are a lot of jobs in the United States tied to both of those things, and that’s the reason why the President will be there focusing, on the first day on the economic and commercial relationship," Froman said.

In Mumbai, he said, the President will meet various groups of business people -- a group of Indian entrepreneurs who are importing US technology and applying them to the Indian marketplace, and a group of US CEOs, who will have a dialogue with the president about doing business in India and what can be done to expand it.

“He’ll then give a speech to this US-India Business Council, CII business summit in Mumbai and talk about the economic relationship and the potential that it has," he said.

Froman, however, said there’s no official business delegation with the President and they would be in India in their own capacity.

There will be a meeting in Delhi of US-India CEO Forum, which are a group of CEOs from the US and India who get together regularly and work on projects to strengthen economic cooperation.

The major focus of that day will be his message on economics, on increasing exports, supporting jobs back here, and including highlighting some commercial deals that we hope to have consummated by that time.

Responding to questions on outsourcing, Froman said one of the major themes that the President is likely to emphasise is that, while that is part of the relationship, India is also a tremendous, potential market, for US exports and a source of investment back in the US.