A generally positive tone has so far permeated the second U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), a nod to the robust ties between two of the world's largest democracies. But one aspect of the bilateral relationship still remains murky as ever, and it's unlikely to see much progress during the two-day event.
"While the strategic dimensions of the India-U.S. relationship have seen very positive strides in recent years, as embodied in Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar's ongoing visit to the U.S, the commercial side has been a little underwhelming," said Dhruva Jaishankar, fellow for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution India.
The two do not have a free-trade agreement (FTA), owing in part to India's protectionist approach and a lack of political appetite in the U.S.
"U.S. goods exports to India have grown only 22 percent since 2008, and other trade indicators, including in services are not impressive. Indian exports have not grown in the past two years despite a much healthier economic outlook," Jaishankar flagged.