India, US vow to conclude Doha round by 2008

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Washington, Feb 23: Commerce and Industry Minister kamal Nath and US Trade representatives (USTR) Ambassador Susan C Schwab have discussed the Doha negotiations, agreeing that the United States and India share a commitment to conclude a successful Doha Round in 2008.

They met in Chicago on Tuesday for the fifth ministerial-level meeting of the United States-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) to pursue opportunities for enhancing trade and investment ties between the two countries. According an official press release, the intensity of interaction within the different Focus Groups demonstrated the importance of this dialogue to both governments. Consequently, the TPF has been able to address a wide range of issues, at policy as well as operational levels, leading to a number of initiatives which have expanded and deepened ties.

Schwab said, ''the US - India Trade Policy Forum offers an essential venue to move the dialogue forward on trade matters of importance to both countries. The Trade Policy Forum has advanced discussions on a potential bilateral investment treaty and facilitated agreements to provide market access for items of interest to both sides.'' ''We have been able to resolve a variety of issues and find mutually acceptable solutions through a dialogue under this Forum.

This milestone approach should be maintained to ensure continued progress, including in our bilateral discussions on Social Security totalization which were initiated in December 2007, and in our efforts to foster private sector collaboration between professions , said Mr Nath.

The delegations also met for the second time with the US-India Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) to the TPF. The PSAG presented its Vision Statement on key policy areas on which the Governments of India and the United States could enhance their engagement and further bolster the US-India economic partnership.

The ambassador also gave a keynote address at the ''US-India SME Summit. Leveraging Global Supply Chains and Integrating the SME Community,'' hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, US-India Business Council (USIBC), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the National Association of Manufacturers.

The TPF is a key element of the US-India Economic Dialogue, which was launched during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in July 2005. The last TPF meeting was held during Ambassador Schwab's visit to India in April 2007.


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