New Delhi– The India-US CEOs Forum on Thursday decided to set up working groups on financial services, healthcare and defence to suggest measures to accelerate trade and investment between the two countries.

Briefing reporters here following a meeting of the India-US CEO Forum, as well as the India-US Commercial Dialogue, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said that the 3 working groups would be set up in addition to the existing four on energy and environment, ICT, emerging technologies and digital infrastructure, entrepreneurship and inclusive growth, as well as on infrastructure and manufacturing.

While the Indian delegation was led by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, the American side was headed by US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross took part in the talks via telephone as his flight to Delhi was cancelled due to bad weather.

According to sources here issues that have emerged as irritants in the bilateral trade relationship such as data localisation, e-commerce and the US decision to end the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Indian exports to America were not discussed during the Commercial Dialogue.

“The CEOs from both sides presented reports but these are not detailed and comprehensive as such. We would like to have CEOs from both the sides in each of these groups. They will work in more detail,” Abhishek said.

The co-chairs of the US-India CEO Forum Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran and American Tower Corporation President James Taiclet.

According to an Indian Commerce Ministry release, both sides assessed the progress made during 2018 on the commercial track targets and appreciated the performance in the areas of standards, business climate, investment and travel and tourism.

“Both sides resolved to further expand and strengthen trade and commerce ties,” it said.

“The CEO forum will come out with some joint recommendations on what the two governments can do to promote more economic and commercial relationship between the countries”, Abhishek said.

“They suggested that while physical meeting may not happen all the time, there could be a meeting through video conferencing once in a quarter,” he added.

The India-US bilateral trade is valued around $75 billion during the fiscal 2017-18. (IANS)