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India, US to resume talks on bilateral investment treaty: Modi

India, US to resume talks on bilateral investment treaty: Modi

New Delhi: India will resume its dialogue on bilateral investment treaty with the US as the economic growth in both countries is becoming stronger, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here Sunday.

"President (Barack) Obama and I have agreed that a strong and growing economic relationship is vital for the success of our strategic partnership. Economic growth in our two countries is becoming stronger. Our business climate is improving. In addition we have established a number of effective bilateral mechanisms to identify opportunities and also help our business, trade and investments more," he said at a joint press meeting with Obama after their talks.

"We will also resume our dialogue on bilateral investment treaty. We will also start discussions on social security agreement that is so important for the hundreds and thousands of Indians professionals working in the US," Modi added.

Obama said: "Our economic partnership has grown and our economic partnership will improve daily lives of our people. We have identified the bilateral investment treaty to discuss further."

"The prime minister has informed me about his missions of economic prosperity to improve the lives of rural Indians with bank accounts, clean water and clean air. We are working on providing assistance to all these," he added.

Obama welcomed Modi's recent reforms to ease doing business in India.

"Since my last visit here and the address made to your parliament, trade has increased and we are cooperating on key global challenges. In the last few years the trade between our countries have increased by some 60 percent and it is going towards $100 billion and we want to trade even more," he said.

According to various Indian industry bodies and trade estimates, Indian-American bilateral trade is poised to reach $100 billion mark by 2018.

Commerce ministry data shows that India's exports to the US have risen from $9 billion in 2001-02 to around $39 billion in 2014-15, with the US remaining India's top export destination throughout the years.

Import-wise, the US has registered a steep rise from $3 billion in 2001-02 to $22 billion in 2014-15. Overall, bilateral trade between India and the US rose five-fold from $12 billion in 2001-02 to $62 billion in 2014-15.

During 2000 to 2013, the cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) flows from the US to India were estimated at $14 billion - constituting nearly six percent of the total FDI into India.

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