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US, India discuss infrastructure sector collaboration

31 July 2014

India and the United States today discussed a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infrastructure initiatives. India's trade minister Nirmala Sitaraman termed the proposal, drafted by the United States as ''a very positive step'', which will be taken forward.

Sitharaman apprised the visiting US secretary of commerce about the administrative simplifications and government facilitation measures as also on the manufacturing initiatives like SEZ, NIMZ and other industrial corridors.

The minister also conveyed India's plan to construct smart cities across the country.

During an hour-long meeting, both the ministers reviewed the trade ties between India and US. Pritzker informed that in the wake of the new government in India, there is a lot of excitement and optimism and signals are positive.

Sitharaman said the new government under Narendra Modi is following growth-oriented policies with a humanitarian touch as development in countries like India has to be inclusive.

Both the sides identified areas where immediate collaboration can be started, which include investment, cluster-related initiatives, and identification of projects. Both sides agreed to initiate identification of real projects where partners from both the countries will collaborate.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sitharaman said, ''It was one of the very good meetings where both the sides are keen on having a lot of things moving forward. So before the Prime Minister's visit, it was more than once expressed by both sides that they are looking for good deliverables.

The impression I got from the secretary was that this visit is something they were looking forward to. They are looking at various things which can happen during this visit and the sense I got was that they are keen on building on relationship with India.''

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