‘Go Big’, suggest experts to boost India-US trade

Leading US economic experts have suggested game changing strategies including a free trade agreement to boost India-US trade and economic relations.

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s US visit, leading US economic experts have suggested “game changing” strategies including a free trade agreement to boost India-US trade and economic relations.

“Trade and economic relations between India and the United States need a broad strategic Framework,” Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics told a Senate panel on Wednesday.

“This framework would include as critical elements embracing the principle of, and initiating preparatory work toward, a free trade agreement in the medium term,” he said testifying on “the Investment Climate and Improving Market Access in Financial Services in India.”

The starting point for forging a cooperative partnership is the recognition that despite frictions, the underlying potential is enormous, said Subramanian suggesting “the prize is big.”

Noting that currently US-India trade is well below potential, he said the proposed broader framework will represent “Going big”.

“And going big is necessary,” Subramanian said “because this is a relationship between two great democracies with deep commonalities; because this is a marathon not a sprint; because this is a multi- not uni-dimensional relationship.”

“Going Big is the best way to address even the small,” he said suggesting “more colloquially, ‘you can’t solve problems relating to chicken (or even financial services) by only talking chicken (or insurance).'”

Richard Rossow, Director for South Asia, McLarty Associates made three specific recommendations on how the US engages India that he firmly believed “can play a role in triggering game-changing shifts in the investment environment.”

His suggestions included pushing harder to conclude a high-standards bilateral investment treaty; continuing and escalate engagement with key (Indian) state Leaders and constantly reviewing and reshaping areas of US engagement with India.

“If we are able to dynamically review and reshape the ways we engage India, we can achieve a much higher level of engagement and satisfaction,” he said expressing confidence” that if we have the flexibility to find the open doors to push upon, we can establish more realistic expectations for the relationship.”


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International Economy

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