Saturday, November 6, 2010

India signs $10-billion worth deals with U.S.

Taking India-U.S. trade relations to new territory, U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday announced that deals worth $10 billion (nearly Rs.44,000 crore) have been reached between India and the U.S. for creating more than 50,000 jobs back in the U.S.

“Several landmark deals have been done shortly before my arrival here. Boeing is going to sell dozens of planes to India and GE is going to sell hundreds of electric engines. The deals are worth $10 billion and will create more than 50,000 jobs in the U.S.,” said President Obama while addressing the U.S-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit here.

ADAG, SpiceJet sign agreement

Among the deals, SpiceJet has purchased 30 737-800 aircraft with a total cost of $2.8 billion from Boeing and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group purchased power equipment for 2,400 MW plants from GE for $2 billion.

Increase in trade between the U.S. and India is a “win-win situation for both nations”, said President Obama. The summit was jointly organised by U.S.-India Business Council, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). President Obama hoped that the trade between the two countries would be doubled in five years. “There is no reason why India can't be our top trading partner. Trade with India is less than with the Netherlands, whose population and size is less than Mumbai,” he said. Saying that economic relationship between India and the U.S. is still untapped, President Obama said, “India can be U.S.'s largest trade partner instead of 12th”.


However, Mr. Obama asked India to ease trade barriers to open up market access. India is the market of the future where Washington was willing to step up investments, provided uncertainties relating to tariffs and other barriers were taken care of.

He also expressed confidence that he was absolutely sure that relationship between the two countries was going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

He said U.S. was committed to reciprocate by easing trade barriers. The U.S. also is ready to ease curbs on export of dual use of technology. He said he would work with India towards easing of export rules which could result in ending the technology denial regime against Indian entities such as DRDO and ISRO.

“Back-offices in India cost American jobs. We don't want one-way traffic in trade; It's a dynamic two-way relationship for jobs and higher living standards,” he said.

U.S. was firm on its own commitments towards it. Referring to visa fee hike and outsourcing restrictions in the U.S., he said, “We don't want to unfairly target companies or people in India.” He said that India would be the largest supplier of workforce in the future and that the U.S. would compete with it in a healthy way in various areas.

President Obama started his speech wishing the gathering by acknowledging lighting up the diya on Diwali and “saal mubarak” (Happy New Year) to all.

He also reminded the gathering that he was the first U.S. President to celebrate Diwali at the White House. Lauding India's growth story he said that the sheer size and pace of India's progress was stunning in human history.

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