Pvt sector has fostered historic India-US trade ties

Washington: The private sector in India and the United States has succeeded in fostering historic trade relationships between the two largest democracies of the world, a top Obama Administration official said on Thursday.

"Your companies and the private sectors they represent have succeeded in fostering historic trade relations among our two countries," US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in his address to the US-India CEO Forum meeting here.

"The CEO Forum is a unique channel that allows each of our governments to hear from a diverse representation of the private sectors of both of our countries. Your recommendations have informed us and challenged us to tackle the persistent hurdles we oftentimes face in implementing our shared vision of ever greater US-India cooperation," he said.

Created in July, 2005, and reconstituted in November, 2009, the CEO Forum is an initiative taken up by the two governments and the private sector to enhance bilateral trade and investment.

The forum last met in November, 2010, in New Delhi.

While the Indian CEOs were represented by Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, those from the US were led by Honeywell International Chairman David Cote.

"2010 was a record-breaking year in US-India trade, with trade in goods up 30 per cent to a high of some USD 49 billion, moving India up two notches to become our 12th largest trading partner. This is excellent progress," Burns said.

"But we all recognise that the potential for our relationship is so much greater," he added.