Under Secretary of Commerce For International Trade Francisco SÁnchez
U.S. Chamber of Commerce India SME Event
Tuesday , September 21, 2010
As prepared for delivery
Thank you very much for your kind introduction, Chris. I am grateful for your many years of service at the Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration. I am lucky to follow in your footsteps.
I would also like to give a special word of thanks to Kiran Pasricha [Paas-Risha] of CII and Ron Somers of US-IBC, whose tremendous energy and ambitious leadership continues to encompass the spirit of the growing US-India commercial relationship.
To the delegation joining us from India here today: Welcome. You have arrived at an exciting moment in the history of the relationship between our two countries.
Let’s consider the events of the last year. Last November, President Obama hosted Prime Minister Singh at the White House for his first state dinner as President.
In the beginning of the summer, an enormous delegation of India’s senior leadership gathered in Washington for the US-India Strategic Dialogue.
And in just a few weeks, the President will follow through on his commitment to visit Prime Minister Singh in India, in what will be an exciting culmination to a year of incredible bilateral engagement.
I can tell you that this series of events is not by coincidence. The President's message to the business community is clear: this administration is committed to the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and India which holds the promise of economic growth, a vibrant middle class and job creation for both countries.
When the President’s Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Summers, addressed this very hall back in June, he touched on the prospects of the heights our bilateral relationship could reach. Larry boldly predicted that when historians reflect on the 21st century, India’s growth and emergence on the international scene and the US-India friendship that was generated in this very moment might well be one of the defining themes of this new century.
To quote Larry, "The world that the United States wants to see, the world that India wants to see, is a world of increasing integrations, a world of increasing prosperity, a world of tolerance, a world at peace, a world where prosperity comes from the bottom up, a world where respect for individuals is a paramount value."
I could not agree more.
As Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, I chair of the US-India Commercial Dialogue with my counterpart, Secretary Khullar. I can assure you that I am committed to being a strong partner. Secretary Khullar and I know the importance and magnitude of trade relations between our countries. And we will continue to work through mutual challenges to ensure the vitality of our bilateral relationship.
This summer I announced a new commercial policy initiative called GEMS or Growth in Emerging Metropolitan Sectors. GEMS revolve around the idea that India’s growth will continue to be accompanied by a rising tide of urbanization.
The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that nearly 600 million people will be living in India’s urban areas, with 68 cities surpassing one million inhabitants by the year 2030. Another estimate: The aggregate annual income of households in urban areas will grow from about $700 billion today to reach almost $4 trillion in 20 years.
This growth comes with the chance of making the labor sector more productive, breaking down social barriers, and most importantly lifting millions into a new middle class.
This idea of Indian GEMS may not be new to many of you gathered in this room, but the enormity of the effects of India’s growth must be conveyed to US industry of all sizes. Cities such as Pune [POO-NAY], Nagpur [NAHG-POOR], Amritsar [AM-RIT-SAR], Coimbatore [KOOM-BAH-TOR], Jaipur [JAY-POOR], Kochin [CO-CHIN] will aim to move from the “2nd or 3rd tier” and become first class cities for its residents.
Now, recall that Larry Summers and the President’s economic team have charged the International Trade Administration and our sister agencies with the goal of doubling U.S. exports during the next five years. A lofty goal indeed, but this National Export Initiative invests in the idea that trade is a monumental force behind job creation.
US companies can feed this demand in Indian GEMS for top quality goods and services. I believe this is the future of our respective countries commercial engagement.
That is why I am to India in just a few days for my first official visit of as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. The purpose of my visit is simple, to ensure that US businesses are uncovering every opportunity to engage the Indian market to contribute to the growth of each of our economies.
Between stops in Mumbai and New Delhi, I will be in Pune along with CII and the US-IBC for the first-ever GEMS conference. This gathering on September 28th will consider in detail the future of GEMS: India’s Next Horizon. Together with leaders from both the US and Indian government as well as from the private sector to uncover the mutual promise of India’s growth. I want to make sure that everyone here invited to join us in Pune.
Our government is committed to ensuring that SMEs remain the backbone of our economy, and your very presence here today confirms that India too understands the dynamics. My team tells me that your journeys throughout the country will take you to New York, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. That you too will be exploring the promise that awaits across our great country beyond our major cities. Perhaps your businesses will discover the promise of American GEMS.
Finally, your very presence here today tells me you believe in the promise of the US-India relationship in the 21st Century. Let me tell you that together we will make sure one it is one that historians will certainly remember. Thank you.
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