Press Trust of India: Changes happening in India but at slow pace: NAM

WASHINGTON: Policy changes and economic reforms are happening in India but at slow pace, a top American manufacturing body said today on the eve of the US India Trade Policy Forum meeting here.

“Since his election over a year and half ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated his goal to boost India’s economic growth and jobs by opening India to business and growing its participation in the global economy. But change has been slow in most areas,” National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey wrote in a blog.

The US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are meeting in Washington DC for the US-India Trade Policy Forum in Washington to examine and move forward our bilateral trade and investment relationship.

The Trade Policy Forum, which was reinstated last year after a four-year hiatus, follows a series of other high-level meetings focused on improving the US-India commercial and economic relationship to the benefit of both nations, she wrote.

As India seeks to increase its global competitiveness, US industries recognise and welcome increased dialogue between our governments on policies and rules to eliminate discriminatory barriers to trade and investment, and to improve protections for innovation and property, she said.

“Yet, talk alone will not improve the US-India commercial relationship or grow trade opportunities between our countries. Rather we need to see concrete action to address the many ongoing and growing challenges that manufacturers in the US face in India,” Dempsey said.

Manufacturers, she argued, agree that dialogue is a prerequisite to progress, but dialogue alone does not change the situation on the ground in India.

“We look forward to India working closely with the U S to eliminate discriminatory barriers, open its market, adopt international standards on everything from food reviews to telecommunications testing, and provide strong protections for all forms of intellectual property from trade secrets to patents and the test data that many manufacturers develop to create new products,” Dempsey said.