Following the first in-person meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden at the White House last week, both countries have outlined an ambitious bilateral agenda including pandemic preparedness and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
In October, the two countries will co-host the Indo-Pacific Business Forum which will bring together leaders in government and industry from across the Indo-Pacific.
Trade between the two countries has also seen a significant jump during the first half of 2021. US exports to India expanded 25 percent while imports from India rose 40 percent when seen annually. At the upcoming Trade Policy Forum, the two countries will also seek to address existing trade concerns. The United States and India, through the United States India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) have also announced the launch of a higher education initiative as well as the alliance for women's economic empowerment.
Close on the heels of these developments, the United States India Strategic Partnership Forum is set to begin its 4th Annual Leadership Summit. The forum will bring together government and industry leaders in a bid to expand on the bilateral agenda between the two nations.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan, John Chambers, Chairman of USISPF, said that the India-US relationship is developing into the most strategic business, government and citizen relationship in the world.
"We outlined almost 5-years ago that the relationship between US and India could be the most strategic in the world. It would not just be business to business but it would affect the lives of every citizen in each of the 29 states in India and the 50 states in the US. It will be an example for all other relationships in the world and all that is coming true. From a business perspective, you begin to watch our startup venture into India or the Indian startups into the US, the activity is up dramatically. There is a common vision on what is possible, everything from cooperation on COVID and the challenges to how do you do trade in a way that benefits every single citizen and every single country.."
Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte, believes that India has a great opportunity to build about a trillion dollars from the relocation of supply chains.
"I think it is a great opportunity for India to build about a trillion dollars of the USD 5 trillion, from the relocation of supply chains. Relocation of supply chains for companies is not just a risk-mitigating strategy, but India needs to talk about the inherent advantages that exist in India. We have mentioned startups, the talent that exists, the domestic market that exists, and so the opportunity to not only be a hub for supply chains but to serve the domestic market is a really important aspect. So it is a great opportunity for India."
According to Renjen, India can take the lead in addressing the climate problem.
"Climate problem is one where India can take a lead. Nature-based solutions are going to address the climate crisis first before technologies come online. India is in a great position to address some of the nature-based issues that plague us all."
Mukesh Aghi, President of USISPF believes that India could be a big beneficiary of the China+ strategy of companies around the world. He also added that the Indian government's decision to change the retrospective taxation law sent a positive signal to the investor community.
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"I would like to compliment the government of India for changing the retrospective tax. It has sent a very positive signal to the investor community that India will not go back to the retro tax itself. From an FDI perspective, our estimate shows that if India is going to be a USD 5 trillion economy, then it needs on average USD 100 billion investment on an annual basis over the next 10+ years itself."
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Rajesh Subramaniam, President & COO of FedEx Corporation, said, "We are very bullish on India. The domestic market is very large and we have just inked an equity and commercial partnership with one of the startups which is growing so fast - Delhivery and we think there is a win-win solution there. Of course, there are people to people, government to government and business to business relationships that are building, but the trade opportunity here is almost 5x of where it is today. As the manufacturing sector in India grows, then there is an opportunity to build the logistics infrastructure to support the manufacturing sector. Today the cost of logistics in the Indian economy is about 14 percent, in US it's 8 percent, so there is a significant opportunity to streamline logistics. So manufacturing and logistics should go hand in hand and really expand the trade relationship between US and India to a whole another level."
Watch video for entire discussion.