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Series of steps needed to address Indo-US trade concerns: Ratan Tata

WASHINGTON: In the backdrop of strained business and trade ties between India and the US, top business leaders like Ratan Tata have vowed to address the concerns and identify the steps that needs to be taken for strengthening bilateral relationship.

"Together we can do so much more," Tata, Co-Chair of the India US CEO Forum said here yesterday.

Tata said that Finance Minister P Chidambaram is doing a good job in restoring the credibility that India has lost in the recent past.

Tata added that there is "probably no silver bullet" to address these concerns, but a series of steps that needs to be taken by both the countries. There should be a sense of urgency in crisis, he said at the annual leadership summit of US India Business Council.

"I think the two countries have great deal to turn to each other more. Two countries need to some together and remove some of the small irritants," Tata said.

Increasing trade is the way to increase prosperity, said David Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell.

Over the past couple of years the two countries have not done enough to realise their true potential, added Cote, the other Co-Chair of the India US CEO Forum added. A true public-private endeavour to enhance bilateral trade and investment, he said.

US-India CEOs Forum gives US and Indian CEOs the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and submit discrete, action-oriented recommendations to both governments for consideration, the US State Department said on the eve of the meeting.

In addition to American and Indian CEOs, many senior Indian and US officials participated in the meet, including Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Deputy National Security Advisor of the US Caroline Atkinson, the United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, and the Deputy Chairman-Planning Commission of India Montek Singh Ahluwalia, along with CEO co-chairs Tata and Cote, led the meeting held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

Launched in 2005, the CEOs Forum last met in September 2011 in Washington. The Forum announced initiatives including infrastructure debt fund, clean drinking water and conservation, energy efficient building projects and cold chain storage and distribution at that meeting.

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