Puducherry, Aug 10 : Lauding India for being one of its largest trading partners, US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell on Friday said there is room to grow in commercial relationships for both nations.
"In just a decade, India has leaped from our 25th largest trading partner to our 13th largest trading partner. Given thesize of our respective economies, we have more room to grow inour commercial relationships and opportunities for our countries' businesses and entrepreneurs," she said.
Powell was addressing a meeting of the Puducherry chapter of Indo American Chamber of Commerce during her visit here.
She said the US Consulate in Chennai had repeatedly noted that IACC has been an outstanding partner in promoting bilateral business relations in the South, and thanked the Chamber for its collaboration with the US to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
She said over the past year, US exports to India had increased by about USD 1 billion to over USD 22 billion while India's exports to the US grew by about USD 4 billion dollars to over USD 41 billion.
"When you count our bilateral trade in services, our total trade relationship is soon expected to top USD 100 billion," she said.
She recalled that when she left India in 1995, the value of US goods exports to India was just about USD 3 billion.
Powell said increasing mutual trade and investment opportunities was one of the top objectives of Vice President Biden during his trip to Delhi and Mumbai two weeks ago and the US looked forward to continuing this dialogue during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington this fall.
She said one of the many ways she and US mission staff are helping expand commercial ties is by supporting US and Indian business delegations travelling both ways to establish connections. Her team was seeing an increasing number of US Governors and Mayors leading sub-national delegations to look for opportunities in India's Tier II cities.
Powell said Governor Terry E Branstad would lead a delegation from Iowa state to Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in September to specifically look for partnerships in biotech, information solutions and advanced manufacturing.
She said her team also wants to empower more Indian companies explore the US market via the Commerce Department`s 'SelectUSA Initiative. The SelectUSA Summit would be held in Washington from October 31 to November 1, she said.