Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Following the meeting, Trump said that the US will soon sign a trade deal with India, with "significant progress" made on a number of outstanding issues.
"I think very soon. We are doing very well. (US Trade Representative) Robert Lighthizer who is right here negotiating with India... I think, very soon we will have a trade deal," Trump told reporters. "We will have a larger deal down the road ... but we will have a trade deal very soon."
Neither side has however given a timeline for the deal.
"As far as trade is concerned, I am very happy that in Houston, in my presence there was an agreement signed by Indian company Petronet for USD 2.5 billion, which is the amount of investment the Indian company is going to do in the energy sector and this will mean that in the years to come, this will result in trade of an amount of USD 60 billion and create 50,000 jobs which I think is a big initiative taken by India," said Modi at a press conference.
India and the United States have been trying to negotiate a trade deal to sort out the various issues between the two nations, with the US pressuring India to lower duties on its products and address the trade deficit.
The Petronet deal, the largest by an Indian company in US natural gas, came after Modi had a meeting with the CEOs of top US-based oil companies on Saturday last week.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Tuesday said that there was no discussion on a timeline for the trade deal, but "we are optimistic that we will be able to conclude an understanding or an agreement fairly soon".
He also added that India is expecting the agreement to be a "fair and reasonable" deal and "we have laid out our requirements in that regard, so has the US side".
India's Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also reached New York over the weekend to attend the meeting.