'Looking forward to deepen ties with U.S', says Anand Sharma
Highlighting the bilateral ties with India and US, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said that the country is looking forward to deepen not only bilateral but regional and global ties too.
Applauding the second time victory of President Barack Obama in re-election to the While House, Sharma said: "I am confident that our economic and strategic partnership will further be consolidated. We were just waiting for the situation now to stabilize, post election, then major initiatives can be taken by the US government, by us, not only the bilateral context but also in the regional and global context, which is bound to happen."
Sharma further said that people of America has reaffirmed their confidence in Obama by re-electing him.
"I want to congratulate President Obama on his re-election. It was a tough election but he has demonstrated that he has the drive and dynamism to lead the largest and most power country in the world, in the second term. Even the challenging backdrop, particularly the economic slowdown, the rising unemployment, the Eurozone crisis, the expectation of the people from the leaders, when they are voting are fairly high and people of America have reaffirmed their trust in Barack Obama," Sharma added.
Sharma also spoke about agreements shared between India and Pakistan for boosting trade ties.
"They (Pakistan) had assured to cut step last year of February. February, they have promised. During my visit, I was assured that the major agreements that we have signed on trade facilitation, creating infrastructure at the border, more is in the pipeline. Pakistan has taken another step, barely a week ago, where they have further dismantled or shortened the negative list, so today in one stroke from 18 percent, you have more than 82-83 percent of their tariff lines, even in Pakistan which are tradable. We are doing much more and if move to the SAFTA preferential list, you can say that Pakistan is also moving towards the MFN (Most Favored Nation) status," said Sharma.
Talking about incoming of foreign investments in India, Sharma said that India is the most attractive destination for investments.
"For the multi-brand retailers, I am sure, they have been present in one form or the other and they have been sourcing much from India, now is their time to come and besides that moving beyond, we have allowed FDI in civil aviation, we have taken a decision to raise the bar in insurance," he added.
Recently, the central government has introduced foreign direct investment (FDI) in its retail sector, aviation sector among others, a major economic reform that has been stalled for months by political gridlock and came as part of a package of measures aimed at reviving growth.
The move allows global firms such as Wal-Mart Stores to set up shop with a local partner and sell directly to consumers for the first time, which supporters say could transform India's 450 billion dollars retail market and tame inflation.