Trade with India must grow to $500 mn: senior US official

19 April 2016

India and the US need to work together to increase the volume of bilateral trade from around $100 billion now to $500 billion, a senior US official said on Monday.

Indian-owned companies in the US employ 44,000 people and contribute $2 billion to US exports, deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy Michael Pelletier said.

He was addressing the inaugural session on 'Investing, Trading, and Travelling to the Unites States' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the US Embassy at the CII headquarters in New Delhi.

He said the fact that the second-largest delegation at the 'Select US' summit last year was from India was a very encouraging sign and the number will increase when the summit is held this year in June.

He said 69 per cent of H-1B and 29 per cent of H-1B1 visas were given to Indians and the US government is working towards enhancing facilities to grant early visas to Indians.

Last year, 1 million visa applications from India were processed, he said.

CII Chandigarh Council chairman Dinesh Dua said, "As per a survey-based report of CII, Indian Roots American Soil ... 100 Indian companies have made cumulative tangible investments of $15.3 billion in the US with an average of $433 million per state."

Addressing a session on 'Promoting India-US Partnership in Business and Industry', Paul Frost, commercial officer, US Embassy, said, "Commercial services offered by the US Embassy include match-making services for US and Indian businessmen on the lines of increasing bilateral cooperation as well as working towards better trade relationships.''

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