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Huge scope for growth between India & US in digital economy: US trade official

United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, who is on a two-day visit to India, said that there is a huge potential for growth between the two economies in areas such as digital economy, services, health-related trade, and even agriculture.

Addressing the India-USA Trade Policy Forum 2021, Tai, an American attorney, said that India’s greatest asset is its people, news agency ANI reported.

Talking about the trade relation between India and United States, Tai said, “trade relationship between our two countries is a top priority, both for President Biden and for me. That’s why it was important for me to come to India and re-launch the trade policy forum on my first trip to Asia.”

“I know that all of you in this room are similarly invested in this trade relationship. You are putting in the hard work to build commercial ventures, navigate the trading system, and strengthen ties between our countries on a daily basis,” Tai was quoted as saying by ANI.

Earlier in the day, Tai met Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.

Tai also said that “At USTR, we hear frequently from our stakeholders on issues in moving goods and services between our two countries, market access restrictions, high tariffs, unpredictable regulatory requirements, restrictive digital trade measures.”

The American representative added that she is looking forward to discuss ways to enhance collaboration on worker centric policies which can benefit trade relationship between the two countries.

“These are issues where we intend to make progress and they will be on my list while I am here (in India),” she added.

Highlighting that India and the US face shared challenges in areas like climate change, vulnerable supply chains, and promoting market-oriented principles and structures, the top American trade representative outlined that “these areas are ripe for closer collaboration.”

Meanwhile, Goyal also said TPF 2021 is the beginning of a new chapter in the trade relations between India and the US.

“I believe that India’s competitive advantages of cost, skilled manpower and huge market domestic demand combined with US’ innovation and investment can become a winning partnership amongst natural friends,” Goyal said.

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He also said that India and US can use this platform to engage and resolve outstanding issues in an amicable manner and send a strong message to the world that the US and India partnership is stronger than ever before.

“I hope our meetings will encourage business communities and investors on both sides to look at a greater degree of engagement,” said the minister.

Terming top US trade official’s visit to India as a “very important” one, president of the US-India Business Council, Nisha Biswal said it is an agenda-setting visit to see how the two countries can align their ambitions and approach to trade. Tai is accompanied by deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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