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India-US Business Summit: What Obama, Modi said

January 26, 2015 21:18 IST

Both leaders were committed to building stronger ties

US President Barack Obama ended a landmark day in India on Monday with a pledge of $4 billion in investments and loans, seeking to release what he called the "untapped potential" of a business and strategic partnership between the world's largest democracies.

The leaders talked on first name terms, recorded a radio programme together and spent hours speaking at different events, but despite the bonhomie, Obama and Modi reminded business leaders that trade ties were still fragile.

India only accounts for 2 per cent of US imports and one percent of its exports, Obama said. While annual bilateral trade had reached $100 billion, that is less than a fifth of US trade with India's neighbour, China.

The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight in Asia to a more assertive China, but has frequently been frustrated with the slow pace of New Delhi's economic reforms and unwillingness to side with Washington in international affairs.

That may be changing under Modi, who has injected a new vitality into the economy and foreign relations since his May elections, and to Washington's delight, has begun pushing back against China across Asia.

India could even play a role in battling Islamic State, the White House said on Monday, underlining confidence that India is increasingly prepared to engage on global security issues.

What Barack Obama said:

US can  help in digitalising Jan Dhan accounts

Let's make it easy for a woman in a village to start a business with someone in the US

US to partner India in solar energy and sustainable energy solutions

US wants to help India expand solar energy, clean its air and water. Also proposes helping Indian-Americans invest in India

Will earmark $4 billion in investment and lending deals to India

Exim Bank of US to commit $1 billion for project financing

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation will lend $1 billion to small- and medium-sized enterprises in underserved rural areas of India

Another $2 billion will be committed by the US Trade and Development Agency for renewable energy

Only 1% of American exports go to India, a nation of a billion-plus people. We do trade worth $100 billion with India, But with China we do $560 billion

The global fortunes of the US, India are interlinked

We have to keep working to make business easier in our two companies

In the last three years, we have increased our trade by 60%, today it is worth $100 billion

Our two business communities have been some of the strongest champions for a closer relationship

Growth cannot be measured by GDP alone, it has to be inclusive and improve the lives of people

What Narendra Modi said:

We are forging ahead in areas of civil nuclear energy, renewable energy and defence

We will protect your intellectual property rights, nurture innovation

You will find an open environment, we will guide you and walk with you in your projects (assuring CEOs of American firms)

Some of the pledges made in Washington in September have begun to flow in, I do keep track of these things

Today business sentiments in India are the strongest among Asian markets

In the past eight months we have worked tirelessly to transform the quality of life of people

For India, the journey has been impressive but the road ahead is still long

Image: PTI

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