Economic Sweetness Persists in Bitter Indo-US Ties

By Arshdeep Sarao, Epoch Times
December 28, 2013 Updated: December 28, 2013

Even political-flavors of the current Indo-US diplomatic row seem impossible to allow any distrust between the world’s two largest democracies, practically due to deep-rooted mutual business interests, a report said.

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the U.S. and the Indian economies are so strongly inter-twined to the point that they cannot afford any distrust for the sake of mutual economic interests that touch lives of the people as well as the corporates.

“We are sure that given our mutual inseparable interests, the bitter diplomatic row would not be allowed to create distrust among the people of the two countries and their business communities,” said ASSOCHAM President Rana Kapoor.

The ASSOCHAM report highlighted that almost all the top American brands from Pepsi, Coke, and McDonalds to General Motors, Boeing to Microsoft are well–entrenched into a growing Indian economy that is set to grow further in terms of the consumption story of its young population. At the same time, over 95 percent of India’s aerated beverages market is dominated by the American drink makers, which penetrates to the deepest corner of the country’s hinterland.

For India, the world’s superpower has become a biggest destination for the country’s over $100 billion IT industry; while for the U.S., the fast developing India has been a growing market of strategic-interest since the early nineties.

The chamber also pointed out that India sells 60 percent of its $75 billion software and IT-enabled services to the U.S., while half of the top 20 IT companies in India are of American origin.

In terms of merchandise exports, the report said that in the financial year 2012-13 the U.S. was India’s second largest destination with shipments of $36 billion. Likewise, the goods imports from the U.S. amounted to $25 billion in the same period. At the same time, the U.S. imports bulk of India’s $15 billion pharmaceutical products.

To make the bilateral trade even more encompassing, India is also among the largest and most growing markets for the aviation sector–both civil and military. Same is the case in several other high-technology areas.

Kapoor said that the Indian industry does not want to believe that there is any possibility of the two countries getting into commercial disputes at a faster pace after the recent setback in diplomatic relations.

“Commercial disputes as and when they occur are purely commercial in nature, and too much cannot be read into the same. There is well established international redressal machinery available for resolving any commercial issue,” he said.

He added that there is a very mature leadership in the two countries which would surely handle the present crisis and ensure that no such incident is allowed to grow too big as to deviate the attention from the productive relationship to a feeling of let-down by either party.