Indo-US cooperation in the vital infrastructure sector will get a new impetus when Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari holds official talks with his counter-part US Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx in Washington today, on a wide range of projects of mutual interest.
Gadkari will be particularly looking for widening and deepening the scope of Indo-US cooperation in innovative technologies for improving highway development, road engineering, road safety and development of green fuels in automobile sector and electric vehicles.
During his interaction with the US captains of trade and industry and pioneers in the maritime sector, Gadkari will highlight investment opportunities in the Indian maritime sector and invite US investments in building ports, port-led industrialization, coastal economic zones, construction of new berths/terminals in existing ports like JNPT, Mumbai and Kandla Ports, capital and maintenance dredging, mechanization, hinterland connectivity and evacuation infrastructure, ship building, ship repairing and ship recycling.
Gadkari has envisaged 50-60 Billion USD foreign investment for infrastructure and another 100 Billion USD towards industrial development for port-led economic growth in the maritime sector and inland waterways, water transport, coastal and cruise shipping and solar and wind energy generation to further boost the country’s growth momentum. He hopes to add two percentage points in India’s GDP through creating world-class infrastructure. India clocked 7.6 per cent growth rate in 2015-16 when there was a global slowdown.
More than 150 projects were identified under the ambitious Sagarmala Programme at the recent Maritime India Summit in Mumbai. India has 7,500 Kms. long coastline, 212 ports, 70 coastal districts, one billion tone cargo handling currently, 111 waterways and 90 % of export-import trade (by volume) handled at ports. There is a huge potential for tapping hundreds of islands and lighthouses for tourism.
Gadkari will hold bilateral talks with the US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in Washington on July 11 aimed at strengthening and expanding India’s relations with the US by enhancing bilateral cooperation in infrastructure sector.
At the US department of Transportation, Gadkari will witness Modal Presentations by Federal Highway Administration, US Maritime Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
His itinerary in Washington includes a talk on “A window into India’s Infrastructure Development” organized by Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. The Indian delegation accompanying Gadkari will give presentations on port-led development, inland waterways development and highway infrastructure. Besides this there will also be logistics at a luncheon roundtable with investors and infrastructure companies arranged by the US India Business Council (USIBC).
Gadkari will be accompanied by Alok Srivastava, Additional Secretary (Shipping), Rohit Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Highways), Abhay Damley, Joint Secretary (Transport), PS Vaibhav Dange & OSD (Shipping) Rajgopal Sharma.
The Indian ambassador to the US Arun K Singh will be hosting a dinner in honour of the visiting Union Minister where he will meet US Congressmen and senior US officials and prominent Indian community members.
During his visit to New York on the second leg of his week-long official trip, Gadkari will visit New York City State Transport Department to understand intelligent transport management, city traffic management and control centre and other technology- based transport solutions. In the commercial capital of the US, Gadkari will also have a series of interactions with investors at the meets organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and US Indian Business Council etc.Some of these interactions will be a follow up of the deliberations at the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai where a large number of US companies had evinced keen interest in promoting bilateral cooperation with India in Maritime sector. Gadkari will invite US companies for technology cooperation in road and highway building, road engineering, innovations in automobile sector, road safety and green fuels.
After a two-day stay in New York Gadkari will visit St. Louis to understand Inland Waterways System on world famous Mississippi River by undertaking a boat trip. On the next leg of his visit to San Francisco, Gadkari will have talks with senior officials from the California Transportation Agency, and departments of International Affairs and business development. He will also visit Tesla, manufacturers of quality electric cars, and hold a meeting with investors and interact with TiE Charter members over dinner. TiE is a global organization of entrepreneurs with over 12,000 members. Gadkari will have interactions with and visit Oracle and Bloom Energy.