|Lalit K Jha,
Washington, Jun 8 - The sizeable Indian investment flowing into the US is supporting thousands of jobs in this country, a senior US official has said, acknowledging the contribution of Indian money in creating employment during a tough economic environment.
"In recent years, India has been among the fastest-growing sources of inward investment into the United States, with a total of USD 3.3 billion in 2010, supporting thousands of new US jobs," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said in his address to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a prestigious American think-tank based in Washington.
Foreign Direct investment into India from the United States reached USD 27 billion in 2010. As the bilateral trade and investment between the two countries have been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, economy would be one of the major topics of discussion during the forthcoming India-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington next week, Blake said.
In fact, recognising the significant role being played by the corporate sector of the two countries, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, would address the annual gala of the US India Business Council on June 12, on the eve of the Strategic Dialogue.
US firms are well-positioned to support India's economic expansion; Blake said adding that opportunities abound for US firms in the Indian market. India plans to spend more than USD 1 trillion on infrastructure in the next five years.
US-India defence trade already has surpassed USD 9 billion in the last five years, while US civil nuclear firms are poised to play a significant role in the USD 40 billion commercial nuclear sector as the Indian government seeks to add 14 new power reactors in the next five years, he said.
Addressing the select Washington audience ahead of the Strategic Dialogue, Blake said the two countries share an ongoing commitment to stimulate mutual economic growth, to strengthen global economic governance and multilateral financial institutions, and to work toward regional integration and prosperity.
Bilateral trade in goods and services has increased almost five-fold in the last decade, from USD 18 billion in 2001 to nearly USD 90 billion in 2011, and is on track to cross the USD 100 billion mark this year.
According to the US official, a bilateral investment treaty is high on the agenda of the two countries.
Following the conclusion of the new US model BIT in April, he said, the US has actively worked to advance negotiations on a US-India bilateral investment treaty.
"We had productive negotiations in New Delhi this week, and will maintain an intensified schedule to work towards the conclusion of a BIT, which we hope will accelerate investment flows in both directions, support new jobs, and generate growth," Blake said. PTI