India, US CEOs to set up working groups on financial services, healthcare, defence

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New Delhi,
Feb 15. The India-US CEOs Forum on Thursday decided to set up
working groups on financial services, healthcare and defence to suggest
measures to accelerate trade and investment between the two countries.

Briefing
reporters here following a meeting of the India-US CEO Forum, as well as the
India-US Commercial Dialogue, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal
Trade (DPIIT) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said that the 3 working groups would be
set up in addition to the existing four on energy and environment, ICT,
emerging technologies and digital infrastructure, entrepreneurship and
inclusive growth, as well as on infrastructure and manufacturing.

While the
Indian delegation was led by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, the American side
was headed by US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. US Commerce Secretary
Wilbur Ross took part in the talks via telephone as his flight to Delhi was
cancelled due to bad weather.

According to
sources here issues that have emerged as irritants in the bilateral trade
relationship such as data localisation, e-commerce and the US decision to end
the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Indian exports to America were
not discussed during the Commercial Dialogue.

“The
CEOs from both sides presented reports but these are not detailed and
comprehensive as such. We would like to have CEOs from both the sides in each
of these groups. They will work in more detail,” Abhishek said.

The
co-chairs of the US-India CEO Forum Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran and
American Tower Corporation President James Taiclet.

According to
an Indian Commerce Ministry release, both sides assessed the progress made
during 2018 on the commercial track targets and appreciated the performance in
the areas of standards, business climate, investment and travel and tourism.

“Both
sides resolved to further expand and strengthen trade and commerce ties,”
it said.

“The
CEO forum will come out with some joint recommendations on what the two
governments can do to promote more economic and commercial relationship between
the countries”, Abhishek said.

“They
suggested that while physical meeting may not happen all the time, there could
be a meeting through video conferencing once in a quarter,” he added.

The India-US
bilateral trade is valued around $75 billion during the fiscal 2017-18.

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