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U.S. Commerce Secretary Begins First Official Trade Mission in India

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Secretary Bryson starts mission with 16 U.S. companies in New Delhi

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, joined by representatives from 16 U.S. companies, officially began his five-day trade mission to India today, starting in New Delhi.  
 
In the morning, Bryson met with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Aluwalia to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-India commercial relationship. He also spoke at an infrastructure roundtable discussion sponsored by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). India is planning to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure development over the next five years, and U.S. companies are in a unique position to offer their skills and expertise in partnership with Indian firms.

“India has identified critical infrastructure needs,” said Bryson. “The companies that are traveling with me are well-equipped to help India meet these needs by providing world-class products and services in project management, engineering services, transportation and energy. We look forward to continuing to build on our strong and balanced trade and investment relationship with India by facilitating and supporting these important infrastructure needs.”

Secretary Bryson also witnessed the signing of two U.S. Trade and Development Agency grants supporting U.S. business investments in India’s energy infrastructure development. The first grant will support a feasibility study for Azure Power, a private sector solar power developer based in India. The second grant will finance a feasibility study for CESC Limited for the implementation of smart grid technologies across their electricity distribution networks in Kolkata, India.

During his address at a luncheon hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI), Secretary Bryson announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry have taken steps to renew the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue for an additional two-year term, until March 2014. The Commercial Dialogue is a key component of the bilateral commercial relationship and provides a forum for both the U.S. and Indian governments and private sectors to collaborate on issues of mutual interest, ensuring that the trade relationship is “win-win” for both countries. The agenda has been expanded to cover new areas of engagement on topics such as standards–including smart grids, intelligent transportation systems–and sustainable manufacturing.

“The Commercial Dialogue is a great example of how a public-private partnership can play an important role in promoting greater commercial ties between our two countries,” said Bryson. “We look forward to increasing our collaboration under the Commercial Dialogue to share information and best practices with India regarding standards and sustainable manufacturing.”

Following the luncheon, Secretary Bryson met with his Indian counterpart, Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma, and later with Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath to advocate for U.S. export opportunities in India’s rapidly expanding infrastructure sector and promote investment opportunities in America–both key priorities of the Obama administration. India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, is a priority market under the SelectUSA initiative, the first coordinated federal effort to promote and facilitate business investment in the U.S. In 2010, the total stock of investment directly from India in the U.S. was $3.3 billion, and when Indian investment that transferred through other countries is included, the total stock jumps to $7.1 billion.

Tomorrow, Secretary Bryson and the delegation will continue meetings in New Delhi with senior Indian government officials. Later in the day, Bryson will deliver remarks at a roundtable luncheon sponsored by the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), to discuss infrastructure procurement and investment opportunities in Growth in Emerging Metropolitan Sectors (GEMS) cities, including those involved in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project.

Earlier in the week, upon arrival on Sunday, Secretary Bryson visited Lodi Gardens, an expansive park in Delhi where both tourists and locals can learn about the history of Delhi. Secretary Bryson also paid his respects at Gandhi Smriti, also known as the Gandhi Remembrance Museum. There he saw exhibits outlining the life and death of Mahatma Gandhi, including the martyr pillar which has been placed on the spot where Gandhi was assassinated. Finally, the Secretary stopped by the Red Fort, a 17th century military establishment that has both beautiful architecture and a fascinating past.

For more information on Commerce’s efforts to support American businesses trade efforts, visit www.trade.gov. If you are a business and want to learn more about exporting, visit http://business.usa.gov/.

Additional details about the Secretary’s schedule in Jaipur and Mumbai will be announced in the coming days.