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Friday, September 21, 2012 12:07:27 PM (IST)  

US Eyes Infrastructure Spending in India, Emerging Economies

Washington, Sep 21 (IANS): With India and other emerging economies set to spends trillions of dollars to build infrastructure, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hoping that they would chose America as their partner.

"The world has never seen so many people ascend economically so quickly," she told a high-level gathering here Thursday bringing together executives from nearly 90 US companies as well as senior government officials from India, Indonesia, Colombia and the United Arab Emirates.

"From Asia to South America, people are moving from rural areas into urban areas, earning more money, buying more cars, more televisions, more refrigerators, surfing the Web (and) joining the middle class," Clinton said at the Global Infrastructure Conference here.

While this upward mobility is "great news" for the international community, it requires global leaders to respond to growing demands on infrastructure and natural resources, she said noting to build this infrastructure global construction spending was expected to grow from roughly $6 trillion a year today to nearly $9 trillion a year by 2020.

"That's why we've come together today - to develop ideas and partnerships to make sure the world is prepared to meet this historic shift," Clinton said.

"Obviously, we want American companies to be your partners of choice in helping to build this brighter future. They have the quality, the expertise, the technology to add value, and to be there for the long haul," she said. "And of course, this event is just one opportunity to strike a deal."

This was the second global business conference hosted by the State Department as part of its "economic statecraft series" to leverage the expertise and the resources of the State Department to help American business connect with
opportunities overseas.

Addressing the conference, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that after a thorough review of the United States' model bilateral investment treaty (BIT) "US negotiators are now advancing efforts to secure high-standard BITs with trading partners such as China and India, as well as Mauritius."

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