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US-India trade deal is good for global growth: World Economic Forum

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Mumbai, India

Danish Siddiqui | Reuters

A trade deal between the United States and India will be positive for global growth, said Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum.

“I think there is something moving on the trade deal between the U.S. — the largest economy in the world, and India — the fastest growing among the emerging economies,” Brende told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill at the WEF India summit on Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the U.S. for a state visit in September. This week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to meet Indian Finance Minister Piyush Goyal at the WEF summit, said Brende.

Some have suggested that India’s economy may not be as big as China’s, the world’s second largest economy.

Still, India could be a good partner for the U.S. amid its protracted trade war with China, Brende suggested, saying a trade deal between Washington and New Dehli could signal “something positive.”

“Trade conflicts today are slowing down the global growth. Trade was the engine of growth for decades,” he added.

Perhaps world leaders may be ready to send out some good signals on the trade front as the U.S. and China return to the negotiating table later this month, said Brende.

“What world leaders have seen is: If trade continues to drop, that will lead to dropping growth, to higher unemployment,” he said. “Maybe leaders will do more to enhance trade.”

No concrete details of a trade deal between Washington and New Dehli has been announced yet.

Ultimately, India is a good investment choice because it “is one of the youngest populations in the world, 1.2 billion people, there are huge opportunities in this country,” said Brende. “Provided also, of course there are investments in infrastructure,” as well as upscaling and rescaling, he added.

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