Current and Future Perspectives of Trade and Investment between the USA and India

Her Excellency Ms. Melinda Pavek, Consul General of USA in Kolkata addressed the members of Bharat Chamber of Commerce at a Special Session on ‘Current and Future Perspectives of Trade and Investment between the USA and India’.
Responding to a query on pending VISA applications to the US, Ms. Pavek assured that the Consulate General in Kolkata is gradually opening new VISA appointments as per directions received from Washington. She added,”The Consulate is struggling with reduced staff partly because of the pandemic and partly due to travel restrictions still continuing on account of which staff from US have not been able to rejoin.” Adding to this, Ms. Pavek informed that the Consulate is open and transparent to the people that there would be a wait, however the Consulate is offering procedures like scheduling meetings for emergency meetings.
In course of her address Her Excellency Ms. Melinda Pavek observed that bilateral relations between India and the US have always been mutually beneficial in terms of economic growth and development. She stated that currently the FDI from India to the US amounts to US$ 12.7 billion and exports are approximately US$ 2.2 billion in value. “India has been highly instrumental in creating jobs in the US which are close to 70,000!”, she added.
Speaking on the agenda at hand as formulated by the recently elected Joe Biden’s Government, she informed that infrastructure development and finance especially for combating climate change is being greatly emphasised. In this context, she highlighted that US President Mr. Joe Biden and the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi had launched the India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership. As per this strategic partnership, the United States has set an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels in 2030 and India setting a target of installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, she stated. “Very recently an investment venture of US$ 684 million has been announced by an Arizona based company for establishing a solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu which will create almost 600 jobs for local women”, she added.
Speaking on the perspectives of future US investments in India, Her Excellency Ms. Pavek stated that the US International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) has aimed to invest $350 million in India to support multiple projects in the country’s financial services sector, health infrastructure, renewable energy and food security space. She further informed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a US$50 million loan agreement with Northern Arc Capital (NAC), an Indian financial institution, to fund non-bank financial entities that provide financial services to women. This loan will be provided through co-financing with the USDFC based on the Facility for Accelerating Financial Inclusion in Asia (FAIA) announced on 27th March, 2020, she added.

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