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US eyes booming infrastructure market of India, other nations

September 21, 2012 12:19 IST

The US is looking to increase its share in the growing multi-trillion dollar infrastructure market in countries such as India, Indonesia, Columbia and the UAE.

Global construction spending will grow from USD 6 trillion a year today to nearly USD 9 trillion a year by 2020, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her remarks on Thursday to one-of-its kind Global Infrastructure Conference organised by the State Department.

The day-long meeting was attended by officials from Colombia, India, Indonesia and UAE, besides US officials and industry representatives.

"That growth represents enormous demand, both for traditional roads and bridges, and for the smart, technology-enabled infrastructure of tomorrow," Clinton said.

"The foreign governments and foreign businesses represented in this room know exactly what I'm talking about. Because you are building cities for the next generation, and you need world-class partners to realise your ambitious plans.

"And for all of you, this is a huge opportunity to connect with new customers and to help build the world of tomorrow," she added.

Clinton further said, "That's why we've come together today – to develop ideas and partnerships to make sure the world is prepared to meet this historic shift. The companies are already working in many of the countries represented in US.

"From dams and power plants to state-of-the-art air traffic management, intelligent highways, high-tech desalination plants, they are developing systems that promote sustainable growth. And they're doing more than just stimulating the economy by doing so."

She went on to state that clean water and sanitation save lives but there are many countries in the world where there are far more mobile cell phones than toilets.

"That is a gap that we certainly should be able to close," Clinton said.

American companies want to be their partners of choice in helping to build this brighter future, she said.

"They have the quality, the expertise, the technology to add value, and to be there for the long haul. And of course, this event is just one opportunity to strike a deal," she added.

Clinton said that in November the US will host an event like this one focused on energy sector partnerships.

And in January, leaders from around the world, including the countries here today, will travel throughout the US as part of International Visitors Leadership Programme to explore how "we tackle infrastructure challenges here", she said.

"They will share best practices with colleagues, discuss old and new challenges, and hopefully create new partnerships both inside and outside of government that will last for years to come," Clinton said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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