India and the US will review on Tuesday at the CEO Forum the progress made so far on deliberations such as boosting renewable energy and defence ties and smart city project, and also discuss the roadmap to achieve the objectives. Besides, the two sides are likely to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship, various other policies and measures to further trade ties between both the countries.
The forum’s meeting will take place as part of the second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) here. It will review the status on the action taken on the recommendations submitted by the forum in its two meetings held in 2015 and make fresh recommendations for strengthening investment opportunities between India and the US.
Cyrus Mistry, Chairman of Tata Group, will co-chair the meeting from Indian side, and Dave Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International from the US side. “The discussions are expected to take place regarding smart city master planning activities for three cities Ajmer, Allahabad and Vizag – for which an MoU has been signed between India and the US,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
In line with the CEO Forum recommendations to boost the renewable energy sector, the both sides are working on the US-India Energy Finance Initiatives, which is expected to mobilise upto USD 400 million by 2020. “Similarly both sides are expected to discuss the possibilities for collaboration in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship and also exchange information and best practices relating to improving ease of doing business,” the statement added.
To ease the defence production procedures, the India has introduced a new ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ which has made it much simpler to take advantage of the immense opportunity for defence production in India. Both countries will also discuss possibilities regarding collaboration between India’s National Physical Laboratory and BIS and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US — relating to reference material production (RMP), metrological standards, physical and mechanical standards.
These efforts are aimed at ensuring adherence to international quality requirements for a range of products. In their deliberation last year, the two sides had agreed on four work streams to facilitate economic development initiatives — infrastructure collaboration and smart cities, ease of doing business, innovation and entrepreneurship and standards.
The statement also said that a new work stream is also being proposed in the current S&CD meeting for the tourism sector. The broad parameters for continued engagement as part of the 2017 Travel and Tourism Partnership Year, announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June 2016, is to be worked out by both sides.
The broad areas of discussion would be regarding enhanced cooperation in promoting two-way tourism, it said. The Commercial Track of S&CD will be led by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US counterpart Penny Pritzker and the two Ministers will also preside over the CEO Forum meeting.
It said that potential topics for engagement are likely to be identified during the Commercial Track (CTrack) meeting with the US. The forum, during its meeting held in January and September 2015, had submitted comprehensive recommendation covering issues across the sectors.
“The governments on both sides have taken into account the recommendations and have also encouraged greater B to B exchanges,” the statement said. It further said the S&CD meeting would be reviewing the progress made so far in strengthening the agreed upon issues and lay down the road map for the ensuing year, under the two tracks.
“The ties between the United States and India have never been stronger – as reflected by unprecedented commercial cooperation, high levels of bilateral trade and highest ever FDI inflows,” it said. The bilateral cooperation under the aegis of S&CD has yielded fruitful gains to both the nations and both sides would be looking forward to maintain the momentum further in the current meeting.
“India’s recent economic and trade initiatives under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, such as Make in India, initiatives for improving ease of doing business, FDI reform measures, start-ups and so on, are going to pave way for more dynamic and strong partnership between India and United States,” the statement added. It said India is looking forward to the S&CD for healthy discussions between the business and government of both sides which are likely to lay the roadmap for much stronger partnership between the two largest democracies.