Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will arrive in Washington tomorrow on a week-long official visit aimed at attracting billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investment in the crucial infrastructure sector in India and accelerating bilateral cooperation with the US.
On his maiden visit to the US in his capacity as Union Minister, Mr Gadkari is scheduled to crisscross the US from Washington to Los Angeles with in between stops in New York, St Louis and San Francisco.
Mr Gadkari will hold bilateral talks with US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on July 11 which is aimed at strengthening and expanding India’s relations with the US by enhancing bilateral cooperation in infrastructure sector, officials said.
At the US department of Transportation, Mr 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’ organised by Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank.
The delegation accompanying Mr Gadkari will give presentations on port-led development, inland waterways development and highway infrastructure, logistics at a luncheon roundtable with investors and infrastructure companies arranged by the US-India Business Council.
“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,” an official accompanying Mr Gadkari said.
During his interaction with the US captains of trade and industry and pioneers in the maritime sector, Mr Gadkari will highlight investment opportunities in the Indian maritime sector and invite US investments in building ports, port-led industrialisation, coastal economic zones, construction of new berths/terminals in existing ports like JNPT, Mumbai and Kandla Ports, capital and maintenance dredging, mechanisation, hinterland connectivity and evacuation infrastructure, ship building, ship repairing and ship recycling, officials said.
According to officials, Mr Gadkari has envisaged $50-60 billion FDI for infrastructure and another $100 billion towards industrial development for port-led economic growth in the maritime sector and inland waterways, water transport, coastal and cruise shipping, solar and wind energy generation to further boost the country’s growth momentum.
During his visit to New York on the second leg of his week-long official trip, Mr 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 New York, he will also have a series of interactions with investors at the meets organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and US Indian Business Council among others.
Some of these interactions will be a follow up to the deliberations at the Mumbai summit where a large number of US companies had evinced keen interest in promoting bilateral cooperation in Maritime sector, officials said.
More than 150 projects were identified under the ambitious Sagarmala Programme at the recent Maritime India summit in Mumbai.
India has 7,500 kilometres-long coastline, 212 ports, 70 coastal districts, one Billion tonne cargo handling currently, 111 waterways and 90 per cent of export-import trade (by volume) handled at ports.
“There is a huge potential for tapping hundreds of islands and lighthouses for tourism,” the official said. On Monday, Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh will be hosting a reception in his honour where he is expected to interact with Congressmen and senior US officials and prominent Indian community members.
Mr Gadkari will invite US companies for technology cooperation in road and highway building, road engineering, innovations in automobile sector, road safety and green fuels.
During his two-day stay in New York, the Overseas Friends of BJP will organise a reception in his honour. Mr Gadkari will then visit St Louis to understand Inland Waterways system on the world famous Mississippi river by undertaking a boat trip.
On the next leg of his visit to San Francisco, Mr Gadkari will have talks with senior officials from the California Transportation Agency and departments of International Affairs and business development. He will also visit manufacturer of quality electric cars Tesla and hold a meeting with investors and interact with TiE Charter members over dinner.
Mr Gadkari will visit Oracle and Bloom Energy and later attend a community reception organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP.