Nath, Schwab call for incremental steps to boost bilateral trade

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New York, Sept 25 (UNI) Stating that Indo-US bilateral economic relationship is at its strongest ever, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, asked the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) to consider ''incremental steps'' to boost Indo-US trade and investment.

''The India-US economic partnership is the strongest it has ever been, and trade has played a vital role in that development,'' Ms Schwab said at the first meeting of the US-India Trade Policy Forum's PSAG yesterday.

Both Mr Nath and Ms Schwab asked members of PSAG to give recommendations on the ''incremental steps'' the two sides have to take to ensure unfettered trade and investment.

Mr Nath said, ''The PSAG provides an opportunity on an institutional basis to identify areas of mutual interest impacting bilateral trade.'' It's a unique arrangement, wherein both sides will engage to evolve a set of core ideas that will provide impetus to bilateral trade and also promote transparency between the Trade Policy Forum and the private sector, he added.

The PSAG, affiliated with the US-India Trade Policy, meeting was attended by trade experts to discuss ways to inject strategic, policy related ideas into the Trade Policy Forum.

On the US side, the meeting was attended by Peterson Institute for International Economics director C Fred Bergsten, former US Trade Representative and Hills and Co CEO and Chairman Carla Hills, Business Roundtable president John J Castellani, and the India-US Business Council president Ron Somers.

Present on the India side was the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations chairperson Isher Judge Ahluwalia, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council member secretary V Govindarajan, CII director general S S Mehta, and FICCI president Habil Khorakiwala.

The India-US Trade Policy Forum was formally launched during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington in July 2005.

UNI

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