Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goel (right) addressing USIBC’s State of US-India Business conference via video, in New Delhi Feb. 17. Also seen at left is Nisha Desai Biswal, Indian American president of the U.S.-India Business Council. (ANI photo)

NEW DELHI – Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has called upon companies in the U.S. to look at India as a manufacturing base.

Delivering the inaugural virtual address at the annual conference of USIBC’s State of US-India Business, he said that trade between India and the U.S. has grown exponentially, but there is a lot more to be desired.

Goyal said that the U.S. and India complement each other.

He said that the U.S. offers technology, finance and innovation, whereas India has a large market that needs to be served.

The minister, however, said that at the same time, there is a need to protect people in agriculture and protect the citizens from low quality products.

Emphasizing at a fair dealing in their engagement, he said that India provides an under-served aspirational market. The minister said the U.S. will have to be very sensitive to price points in India, which matter to emerging economies with millions of people just coming out of poverty.

Inviting businesses in the U.S. to look at India as a manufacturing base, Goyal said that from here, they can serve a large Indian market and at the same time, also serve global markets through cost-competitive products.

He said that their reforms in the defense, mining, labor and agriculture sectors will open up new opportunities for the American companies.

Goyal said the government is keen to expand on the digital space with the U.S. He added that they would be conscious of their responsibility to the people of India for data privacy.

"There are a lot of concerns with the big tech companies, and India would like to protect its policy space," he said.

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