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Nuclear deal to catalyse biz opportunities: USTR

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 03: The Civil nuclear deal signed between India and the US will provide a superstructure for consolidating the business synergies between the two countries, US Assistant Trade Representative Douglas Hartwick said today (Mar 03, 2006).

India will soon become a manufacturing hub for the US companies because of the focused attention given by the Indian Government for toning up energy availability and infrastructure facilities to the manufacturing sector, he said while addressing a joint meeting of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

According to a release of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce, coupled with a joint statement on trade signed between the two countries yesterday, he said that positive changes would take place in the investment and trade sector.

Agreeing to a point made by Mr Deepak Pahwa, Vice President, IACC, that the general perception about India is changing from a traditional economy to a happening place, Mr Hartwick said India still had to go a long way in shedding its perceptional legacy.

Continued economic engagement between the countries can help completely change that perception. India, he said still needs a lot of investment in power, airports and other aspects of infrastructure to find its rightful place as an economic super power.

Coupled with this, there should be deliberate efforts to strengthen the Rule of Law and facilitate expeditious settlement of commercial cases in a time-bound manner.

Mr Hartwick referred to the Trade Policy Forum set up by the two countries to address contemporary issues. This Forum, which is a part of the ongoing bilateral Economic Dialogue, has identified five areas. These are Agricultural trade, tariff and non tariff barriers, investment, services and innovation and creativity. He said that the breakthrough that has been achieved by the two countries regarding export of Indian mangoes to the US was a symbolic and significant one and portends the potentials of trading in agricultural products.

With fumigation technologies in place for adhering to strict quarantine laws of the US, he said there could be possibility of more and more agricultural goods marketed to the US. He also said, India has to work towards strengthening the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws to facilitate more investment from the US. To a comment from the floor of the house that India should better concentrate on enforcement of IPR rules rather than expanding the existing one, he said that implementation was critical in building confidence of the US investors.

Mr Hartwick also underscored the need for greater cooperation between the two countries in the Small and Medium sectors. Unlike the perception that the large companies dominate the US corporate scene, SMEs play a crucial role in the US economy. Synergy between the two countries in this segment can take the economic co-operation to a higher orbit of growth. Mr Pahwa referred to the problems related to issuance of visas and the need for greater interface between the two countries at business-to-business levels.

UNI

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