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Visit of Commerce & Industry Minister, Mr. Kamal Nath to Washington, DC, June 11-12, 2008


Washington, DC 
June 9, 2008

Commerce & Industry Minister, Mr. Kamal Nath is scheduled to visit Washington D.C. on June 11-12, 2008 to participate in the Global Partnership Summit, which the US-India Business Council is holding to mark its 33rd anniversary. The theme of his session on June 12 at 1110 hrs., which would be hosted by Mr. Charlie Rose, is “India in the 21st Century – A Partner in Free-market Democracy”. The Minister would conclude with remarks on “Aspirations for the India-US Partnership”. 

During the visit, the Minister would be meeting US Commerce Secretary, Mr. Carlos M. Gutierrez, Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Ed Schafer and Secretary of Treasury, Mr. Henry M. Paulson. He is also expected to meet the US Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab. 

Background

Trade and commerce form a crucial component in the rapidly transforming and multi-faceted relations between India and US. From a modest $ 14.4 billion in 2000, bilateral trade in merchandise goods has increased to $ 41.6 billion in 2007, representing an impressive three-fold growth in a span of 7 years. India’s merchandise exports to the U.S.A. grew at 10 % from US $ 21.8 billion in 2006 to US $ 24 billion in 2007.US exports of merchandise to India increased from US $ 10.1 billion in 2006 to US $ 17 billion in 2007, an impressive increase of 75%. India retained its rank as 17th as source of imports but as a destination for US exports, moved up from the 20th to 16th position. India has emerged as one of fastest growing export markets for USA. During the first quarter of 2008, the exponential growth has continued, with Indian exports growing by 14% and US exports by 46%. 

India’s major exports to the US include gems and jewelry, textiles, pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery. India’s main imports from the U.S. are aircraft and aviation products, engineering goods & machinery, precious stones and metals and organic chemicals.

Bilateral investments are increasing in both directions. Discussions have commenced on the possibility of concluding a Bilateral Investment Treaty.

US Secretary for Commerce Mr. Carlos Gutierrez visited India in February 2007 and USTR Ambassador Susan Schwab in April 2007. Minister Nath visited United States in February 2008 for the bilateral Trade Policy Forum meeting and in May 2008 for WTO-related discussions with USTR Ambassador Schwab.
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