New Delhi: The US on Thursday said the absence of a bilateral investment treaty with India is an "impediment" to expanding trade between the countries.
"The absence of a bilateral investment treaty between our two countries is an impediment to growing our trade and investment," US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma said at a conference organised by Society of Indian Law Firms.
The US Ambassador to India said there has been "significant progress" in the ease of doing business scenario in India. "It (ease of doing business) is a subject the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) talks a lot about and I actually think there has been significant progress. The ease of doing business is a catch all term that incorporates a lot of different concepts.
"It is about tax certainty, tax fairness, it is about reducing regulatory burden, it is about ensuring there is adequate infrastructure, power it is also about law, it is about legal service about access to courts it is about embracing international arbitration," he said.
Besides, Verma urged the government to permit US law firms and lawyers to set up base in India, calling for "reciprocity" saying there was no citizenship requirement for Indian lawyers who wish to establish offices in the US.
"We think it's important because it would contribute to economic growth and foreign direct investment... I think you need to look at other countries in Asia as well in Europe in Latin America and see whether this wall that currently exists on professional legal services is still the right thing if you want to grow the two-way trade number, if you want to attract more businesses and more professionals into India," he said.