India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the September 1, 2016 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
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India, U.S., Sign Memo on Military Logistics Agreement

India and the U.S. have signed a Memorandum of Agreement on an armed forces pact that would establishes basic terms, conditions and procedures for the reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the armed forces of the two countries. Reciprocal logistic support would be used exclusively during authorized port visits, joint exercises, joint training and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. 
India-U.S. Joint Statement on Visit of Defense Minister to U.S.  

At the invitation of U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Minister of Defense of India Manohar Parrikar made his second official visit to the U.S. from Aug. 29-31. The visit - their sixth interaction to date - demonstrates the importance both sides place on strengthening defense ties across many areas: from increased strategic and regional cooperation, to deepened military-to-military exchanges, to expanded collaboration on defense technology and innovation.

India, U.S. to Collaborate on Harmonization of Product Standards

India and the U.S. will work toward harmonizing product standards and improving ease of doing business, a top U.S. State Department official said, adding that India-U.S. bilateral trade reached $109 billion in 2015, and that India was among the top 10 growing sources of foreign direct investment in the U.S. in 2015, reaching $11.5 billion.

Boost to Rail: Govt. OKs 9 Projects Worth $3.6 Billion
In a major boost to infrastructure, the Government approved nine projects worth $3.6 billion in nine states for expansion of the railway network and connectivity across the country. Besides facilitating travel by easing bottlenecks, the approved lines would help growing industries in the region and give additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. 

Govt. Approves Big National Highways Project 

The Government approved development of 695 miles of National Highways in the states of Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal at a cost of $971 million. The work is expected to be completed by July 2019, and will ensure safe, fast. all-weather movement of traffic in rural regions aimed at improving socio-economic development. 

India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue
India and the U.S. held the 2nd Strategic and Commercial Dialogue meeting in New Delhi. Both sides agreed that ties have never been stronger - as reflected by unprecedented commercial cooperation, high levels of bilateral trade and highest-ever foreign direct investment inflows to India in 2015-16, especially from the U.S. 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Meets with Indian Finance Minister

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley discussed measures to increase bilateral trade among the two countries. Jaitley said that many Indian states are growing at the rate of 10-11 percent and the trade dialogue between the Indian states and U.S. investors and companies can help in giving a boost to the bilateral trade between the two countries. 

PwC Report: India, U.S. Eye Bilateral Trade Worth $500 Billion
Positioned as a major investment destination to the world, India is targeting to increase its bilateral trade with the U.S. to $500 billion from current levels of more than $100 billion, in the near term, according to a recent joint report by PwC and Indo American Chamber of Commerce. Relations between the two countries have been cemented further in the past two years with increased issuance of visas, visits by dignitaries, initiatives to combat terrorism, as well as trade. 

Indo-U.S. CEO Forum to Review Progress on Boosting Business Ties
At an upcoming CEO forum, India and the U.S. will review progress made on deliberations such as boosting renewable energy and defense ties and the smart city project, and also discuss the roadmap to achieve the objectives. The forum's meeting will take place as part of the 2nd Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

Study: India to be Among Top 5 Global Pharma Hubs by 2020

To push India into the top five of pharmaceutical innovation hubs by 2020 and establish a global presence by launching one out of every five to 10 drugs discovered in India, the Government is preparing for multi billion dollar investment with 50 percent public funding through its public private partnership model to enhance innovation capability, reveals a study by Assocham and TechSci Research.