US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke meets Meera Shankar

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 11 (PTI) Ahead of his India visit witha high-powered trade mission, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locketoday met Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar duringwhich he advocated for US fighter aircraft manufacturers andincreasing American exports to India.

"During the meeting, Locke advocated for US fighteraircraft manufacturers, emphasizing that the US governmentviews high technology defence sales as a cornerstone of theUS-India strategic partnership and that the United States is awilling and capable defense partner,"" the Commerce Departmentsaid after the meeting.

Locke and Shankar discuss bilateral trade andinvestment issues. The meeting took place as Locke prepares tolead a high technology business development trade mission toIndia on February 6-11.

Over 70 companies applied to participate in theupcoming mission, which will make stops in New Delhi, Mumbai,and Bangalore, in order to promote US exports of hightechnology products and services in key economic sectors:civil-nuclear trade, defense and security, civil aviation, andinformation and communications technology, the statement said.

US exports of goods to India are up 15.2 per centthrough the first 10 months of 2010 and projected to surpassUSD 19 billion for the entire year � an all-time high.

Advanced technologies, including aerospace,specialized materials, information and communicationstechnologies, electronics and flexible manufacturing systemsunderpinned this growth.

Overall US exports to India were USD 16.4 billion in2009, making India the 17th largest export market. Exports toIndia through October 2010 reached approximately USD 16.1billion, the statement said.

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