US to focus on infra investment in smart cities: Ambassador

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) United States Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma on Friday said the US will continue to focus on making investments in infrastructure in Indian smart cities, which have an investment potential of $1.5 trillion.

“Infrastructure development in smart cities in India will continue to be the focus of the US government. There is a market potential of $1.5 trillion in smart cities,” Verma said at the 24th annual general meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in India.

“Investment in smart cities’ infrastructure is one of the pillars of the India-US commercial dialogue. The US will collaborate with governments at the Centre, states and India’s finance sector to take the smart cities projects off the ground,” he added.

Currently, around 38 dialogues are in progress between India and the US at the government level, he said.

“38 dialogues are on between India and the US, amongst which a number of US agencies are talking to the Indian government on smart cities,” the American ambassador said.

“There is massive urbanisation happening in India at levels we have never seen earlier. Opportunities in rural India are drying up. India needs to construct a Chicago city every year to accommodate people moving to its cities,” Verma said.

He said the US government had initiated a reverse trade mission under which 14 officials from the Vizag smart city project visited US cities to analyse the infrastructure requirements of a smart city.

Talking about the growing partnership in India, he said: “We have seen broadening and deepening of our relationship. Year 2015 saw the India-US bilateral trade scale new heights. Soon the two countries will hit the $108 billion-mark.”

–IANS

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