Bilateral trade between the US and India has hit an all-time high of $115 billion, said CG Burgess, US Consul General, at the inaugural session of the conference on ‘Unlocking US-India Trade Potential’ here.

Last month’s visit of the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has laid out an expansive plan to take the US-India partnership to new heights in fields such as defence, which has risen from near zero to more than $15 billion in the last decade, he said.

Tillerson had said that the US is willing to provide advanced technologies for India’s military modernisation efforts.

Quoting Tillerson, Burgess pointed out that the exchange of technologies and ideas between Bengaluru and Silicon Valley is changing the world. It is estimated that 600 American companies operate in India and a large majority of them, including JP Morgan, Walmart Labs, Boeing, and Lowes, are based in Bengaluru.

Visa issues

During Tillerson’s visit to India, the government had raised the issue of H-1B and L-1 professional visas, urging the US not to take any step that would prove detrimental to the Indian IT industry and also asked for an early conclusion of the long-pending totalisation agreement that seeks to exempt Indians working temporarily in the US from having to pay into the US Social Security system.

The US exports of goods and services to India supports around 200,000 US jobs, according to industry watchers.

Burgess also touched upon the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which will be co-hosted by the US and India in Hyderabad on November 28-30.

The event is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump.

“The theme for this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit is Women First, Prosperity for All,” Burgess said.