Despite President Barack Obama’s recent election setbacks at home, his trip to India last week was met with a measured amount of success, according to both U.S. and Indian media. One of the biggest announcements that Obama made during his trip was his intention to support securing India a permanent seat in the U.N.’s Security Council. Although the chances of securing a seat are rather slim, Obama’s endorsement is a big first step.
Most importantly, however, the U.S. president and Prime Minister set an agenda for improved trade between the two countries, signaling new opportunities for Indian and U.S. economic growth. Although many see the President’s move to expand trade with India a politically risky one, considering how pervasive the misinformed notion of Indians taking jobs from Americans is, Obama addressed the issue straightforwardly.
A recent CNN article quoted Obama as saying:
“In 2010, trade between our countries is not just a one-way street of American jobs and companies moving to India. It is a dynamic, two-way relationship that is creating jobs, growth, and higher living standards in both our countries.”
Obama unveiled a plan on Saturday November 6 to create over 50,000 jobs in the United States with $10 billion dollars in new contracts for the Indian government and private companies. Obama also urged India to loosen its trade and investment barriers in various different industries like retail and telecom, an appeal that went well with Indian officials.
After Obama’s weekend visit, a New Delhi article published Tuesday November 9 reported that India asserted it was time to “seriously consider” making an agreement that would further open trade between the two countries. Although any new free trade agreements will likely take a long time to negotiate, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma noted the importance of engaging “in negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement that encompasses trade, investment, and services.”
The New Delhi article underscored the fact that while industry in India has long favored lowering barriers in trade and investment, for the first time the government is opening up to the idea. For both Indian and American investors, these talks could signal new global opportunities in a variety of industries.
This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online schools . She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.