Need to address impediments to increase Indo-US trade five-fold: Pritzker

Washington D.C, Sept 23 - Highlighting the shared vision of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the US-India trade five-fold, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said on Tuesday that it cannot be achieved without input and perspective of the private sector of both the countries.

She said that to achieve the goal, 'laser-like focus' was needed across all levels of the two governments, to address the impediments faced in doing more business together.

"We have known for decades that our commercial relationship has not lived up to its potential. Despite being the fastest growing major economy in the world, India is only America's 11th largest trading partner and 18th largest export market, which neither of us can afford this underperformance anymore," she said here while addressing a joint press conference, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Indian Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman.

"As President Obama has said we must make it easier for Indian and American companies to buy from each other, to invest in each other and to create with each other, our initial work plan focuses on our nations' joint priorities, including improving ease in doing business, infrastructural development, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and harmonising standards and global supply chain," Pritzker added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier said that President Obama was very much looking forward to meet Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the United Nations meet next week.

The nature for the dialogue ahead of Prime Minister Modi's third summit meeting with President Obama next week was set with US Vice-President Joe Biden saying earlier that, America's goal is to become 'India's best friend'.

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