WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama today promised to “look at” export controls to make sure Indian firms have the same access to American technologies as “closest allies” and expressed the hope that the New Year will see deals for the US companies to build new reactors in India.
Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to cut red tape and make it easier for doing business in India, he said both countries can do even more to increase the trade and investment that creates jobs for people in both nations.
He said the bilateral trade “is still just a fraction of what it could be” and both countries can do more.
Bilateral trade between India and the US is now around $100 billion – rising five-fold in the last decade.
Mr Obama and Mr Modi have set a goal of taking it to $500 billion in the next few years.
“Under our civil nuclear agreement, we’re hopeful that this year will see deals for US companies to build new reactors, which will mean more reliable electricity for Indians.
“For our part, the United States continues to look at our export controls to make sure Indian companies have the same access to American technology as our closest allies,” Mr Obama told PTI in wide-ranging interview.
The US, he said, continued to welcome trade arrangements that meet high standards as well as reforms to protect intellectual property and promote a predictable and a consistent business environment that truly welcomes investments.
Asked how he would like India-US relationship to be remembered as and the things he would like to achieve in the last year of his Presidency, Obama said there is much more that the two countries can do as global partners.
“As leaders in science and technology, we can expand our efforts to combat disease and promote public health in Africa and beyond.
“With collaborations like Mission Innovation, we can be leaders in clean energy and spare our people the worst effects of climate change. As members of the G20, we can work together to boost global growth. By moving ahead with our joint vision, we can ensure the security, prosperity and dignity of people across the Asia Pacific,” he said.
Given the momentum of the past year, Mr Obama said the New Year is an opportunity to lock in the gains and put the US- India relationship on a new trajectory for years to come.
“I believe there’s still so much more we can be doing together to realise the full potential of our partnership in the three areas I identified last year,” he said.