Washington: Recognising India's emergence as an economic powerhouse, US Ambassador-designate Nancy Powell has said the bilateral goods and services trade is expected to cross a record USD 100 billion this year, an "astounding
quadrupling" since 2000.
"Today I see an India that has revolutionized itself onto the global stage. India is becoming an economic powerhouse, having averaged seven percent annual economic growth over the last decade, lifting tens of millions of its citizens out of poverty," 64-year-old Powell said at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday.
She said bolstering bilateral trade and investment and increase in US exports to India would be among her top priorities.
"If confirmed, I look forward to participating in and advancing the US-India Strategic Dialogue, as well as the substantive exchanges on more than 20 distinct policy areas, including education, energy, agriculture, and development," Powell said.
She said the US export to India is well on its mark to achieve the goal of President Barack Obama to double it in five years.
India, with its population of 1.2 billion and a large and balanced consumer economy, represents a huge, fast growing market for US manufactured goods, and American exports are growing at nearly over 17 percent a year.
"At this rate, exports from the United States to India are expected to nearly double in the five years from 2009 to 2014," Powell said.
"We have made unprecedented progress in expanding our economic relations with India. Our bilateral goods and services trade will top USD 100 billion in 2012. This represents an astounding quadrupling of trade since 2000, moving India up from our 25th largest trading partner to our 12th," Powell said.
"I look forward to working with a wide inter-agency team and with our Indian counterparts to reduce barriers, including through negotiation of a Bilateral Investment Treaty, and to expand the areas where we do business," she said.
On the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, she said: "I am eager to support the efforts to ensure full implementation of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, including ensuring a level-playing field for American companies in the commercial applications of nuclear energy."
First Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 18:55