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Obama announces $10bn worth Indo-US deals

Mumbai: US President Barack Obama today announced that “several landmark” deals worth USD 10 billion (nearly Rs 44,000 crore) have been reached between the two countries for creating about 50,000 jobs in the US.

Expressing confidence that he was absolutely sure that relationship between the two countries was going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, he asked India to reduce trade barriers, while committing to reciprocate.

“There is no reason why India cannot be our top trading partner (from 12th position now)… I’m absolutely sure that the relationship between India and the US is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” President Obama said addressing the US India Business Council meet as he started his three-day maiden visit to India.

“Several landmark deals have been done shortly before my arrival here. Boeing is going to sell dozens of planes to India and GE is going to sell hundreds of electric engines. The deals are worth USD 10 billion and will create more than 50,000 jobs in the US,” he said.

The commercial deals include the purchase of 33 737s from Boeing by SpiceJet Airlines; the Indian Army’s plans to buy aircraft engines from General Electric; and preliminary agreement between Boeing and the Indian Air Force on the purchase of 10 C17s.

Just before the address at USIBC, Reliance Power announced power equipment deal for 2,400 MW plants from GE and low-cost carrier Spicejet announced a deal to buy 33 new generation 737 aircraft from Boeing.

On the occasion, Obama said this was barely scratching the potential and dubbed India as the market of the future where Washington was willing to step up investments, provided uncertainties relating to tariffs and other barriers were taken care of.

Easing of export rules could result in ending the technology denial regime against Indian entities such as DRDO and ISRO.

Obama also urged India to reduce barriers to trade and investment in order to boost economic relations between the world’s two largest democracies.

He said the relationship between America and India should be a win for both sides, while acknowledging concerns in America about outsourcing .

“Backoffices in India cost American jobs; we don’t want one-way traffic in trade; it’s a dynamic two-way relationship for jobs and higher living standards,” Obama said.

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