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Commerce Secretary Ms Rita Teaotia meets US Under-Secretary for Commerce Mr Stefan Selig

Commerce Secretary Ms Rita Teaotia met US Under Secretary for Commerce on his visit to India as part of an inter-ministerial discussion to deliberate on the agenda,structure, side line events and deliverables for the first Ministerial Level Meeting of the elevated “Strategic and ‘Commercial’ Dialogue” (SCD) in US, on 22nd of September, 2015.

The Strategic Dialogue steered by MEA and the India-US Commercial Dialogue in existence since 2000 and steered by Department of Commerce were clubbed as one Dialogue under the Delhi Declaration released during President Obamas visit to India in January 2015. The composite Dialogue will be co-chaired by External Affairs Minister and CIM on the Indian side and US Secretary of State Mr John Kerry and US Secretary of Commerce Ms Penny Pritzker on the US side.

The issues that are likely to be taken up for discussion at the next MinisterialLevel Meeting of the SCD from both sides were also deliberated at length under the aegis of each of the 6 Joint Working Groups- 4 of which on Infrastructure, Cooperation on Services, Cooperation on Standards, Collaboration on Technical Textiles and Guargum are coordinated by Department of Commerce and the other 2 Joint Working Group on a) Business Climate and b) Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development are steered by DIPP.

Discussion was held regarding holding of the India-US CEOs Forum Meeting on the side lines of the SCD Meeting on the 21st of September, 2015 in US.

NASSCOM is bringing out a “Report on the Contribution of Indian IT Companies to US Economy” which is likely to be released jointly by Commerce and Industry Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Commerce Ms Penny Pritzker during the SCD, for which Commerce Secretary Ms Teoatia extended the proposal to Mr Stefan Selig in the Meeting today.

Ms Teaotia flagged key issues that India would like to take up at the next meeting of the SCD. Sheparticularly highlighted the need to cooperate in the areas of Standardsbetween Institutions of repute on either side like BIS (India) and ANSI (USA)and also stressed the importance of Technical Cooperation and Exchange between Regulators and the need for establishing a technical dialogue. India also suggested the need to look at procedural and product specific (especially on marine products) conformity assessment issues.

Indian side also suggested also mentioned sectors of Collaboration on Services, particularly on cooperation on a whole host of other services India would share a Concept Note on both Cooperation on Standards and Services with the US side.

India also suggested for Cooperation in Technical Textiles and Guargum for which Concepts Papers have been readied and in the process of being shared with US side.

Joint Secretary DIPP briefed progress made under the two Joint Working Groups under DIPP.

Both sides agreed to convene the remaining Video Conferences under the various Joint Working Groups and to begin to work out the deliverables for the SCD.

The Meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and lasted for around two hours.

The SCD preparatory Meeting was preceded with a Bilateral Meeting between Commerce Secretary Ms Teaotia and Mr Stefan Selig.

In the afternoon, Commerce Secretary also co-chaired the 2nd Roundtable on “Investment Promotion Strategies”organized jointly by USIBC, AMCHAM and FICCI under the Terms of Reference of the extended India-US Commercial Dialogue (2014-16) along with Under Secretary Mr Selig and Secretary DIPP, Mr. Amitabh Kant.[The 1st Roundtable was held last year in November on Corrosion Technologies and Standards in partnership with NACE and FICCI].

Ms Teaotia gave an in depth overview of the work done by the present government to create conducive ecospace for Businesses to operate and invest in India. In her address to the industry she urged them to come up with specific recommendations that could yield concrete and tangible results, as a run up to the Ministerial Level SCD in US.She also emphasized how both countries were at the cusp of learning from each other and participating in each other’s growth story through the global reaching out that was happening in India through the Make in India initiative and Select USA initiative in the USA, where India Industry was the largest participant for two consecutive years. Secretary DIPP Mr Amitabh Kant mentioned about the demographic advantages of India and how India could enter a sustainable growth path through its reforms and “Make in India” initiative. Executive Director Select USA Mr Vinai Thummalapally also spoke at the Roundtable.