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India-US Agrees to Re-Invigorate TPF & Early Conclusion of the India-US Bilateral Investment Agreement

Washington, DC
(Press Information Bureau)

India-US Agrees to Re-Invigorate TPF & Early Conclusion of the India-US Bilateral Investment Agreement
Anand Sharma meets USTR 

Shri Anand Sharma the Union Minister Commerce and Industry is on a four day visit to the United States during his visit he held discussions with Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative on 22nd June 2011. Shri Sharma and Ambassador Kirk agreed to re-invigorate the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and make it more robust and effective in resolving bilateral commercial issues, while maintaining the political leadership of the process. The two sides also agreed to fast-track the technical negotiations for an early conclusion of the India-US Bilateral Investment Agreement. There would be two rounds of negotiations before the next meeting of the Ministerial level TPF expected to be held in October 2011 in India. In their interaction, they covered the entire range of issues in bilateral trade and commercial engagement.

Shri Sharma apprised Ambassador Kirk of various policy approaches being taken by India to sustain its high GDP growth and the opportunities it offered for the U.S. businesses to develop partnerships with the Indian private sector. He mentioned infrastructure, agriculture and agro-processing; food processing; cold chain logistics; manufacturing of electronic devices including chip design as areas with bilateral cooperative possibilities. He also raised issues of importance for the Indian industry in their business operations in the United States. The Indian Minister later informed that, the United States welcomed the unilateral action taken by India in reducing tariffs on a number of products, including raw pistachios, cranberry products, seedless raisins, processed foods, medical equipment, fertilizers, chemicals, heavy machinery, etc. USTR also appreciated India’s efforts towards increased cooperation in services and on improving the investment environment.

Earlier on 22nd June 2011, Shri Sharma addressed a gathering of policy makers, economists and scholars at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. He highlighted the increasing role of emerging economies in the perspective of the financial and economic crisis, which is causing a rebalancing of the global economy. He also stressed the necessity to build and strengthen bilateral business and institutional partnerships between the two countries. He informed the audience about India’s plans to create National Manufacturing and Investment Zones, which would become hubs of innovation and manufacturing.

On 21st June 2011, The Commerce & Industry Minister held a CEO Industry Roundtable in New York where he interacted with select leaders of investment firms and big businesses with keen interest in commercial opportunities in India.