Commerce Minister Kamal Nath to attend business meet on June 11

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Washington, Jun 10 (UNI) Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath will be here on a two-day visit beginning tomorrow to participate in the Global Partnership Summit, which the US-India Business Council is holding to mark its 33rd anniversary.

The theme of his session on June 12 is "India in the 21st Century - A Partner in Free-market Democracy". The minister would conclude with remarks on "Aspirations for the India-US Partnership".

During the visit, the Unoin Commerce Minister would meet US Commerce Secretary Carlos M Gutierrez, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Secretary of Treasury Henry M Paulson. He is also expected to meet the US Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab.

Trade and commerce form a crucial component in the rapidly transforming and multi-faceted relations between India and US.

From a modest 14.4 billion US dollars in 2000, bilateral trade in merchandise goods has increased to 41.6 billion dollars in 2007, representing an impressive three-fold growth in a span of seven years.

India's merchandise exports to the US grew at ten per cent from 21.8 billion dollars in 2006 to 24 billion dollars in 2007. US exports of merchandise to India increased from 10.1 billion dollars in 2006 to 17 billion dollars in 2007, an impressive increase of 75 per cent.

India retained its rank as 17th as source of imports to the US but as a destination for US exports, moved up from the 20th to 16th position.

India has emerged as one of the fastest growing export markets for the US.

During the first quarter of 2008, the exponential growth has continued, with Indian exports growing by 14 per cent and the US exports by 46 per cent.

India's major exports to the US include gems and jewellery, textiles, pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery.

India's main imports from the US are aircraft and aviation products, engineering goods and machinery, precious stones, metals and organic chemicals.

Bilateral investments are increasing in both directions.

Discussions have commenced on the possibility of concluding a Bilateral Investment Treaty.

UNI XC KK VP0658

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