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High stakes for US in Indian economy: Sharma

In a clear signal that its growing economy has high stakes for the American business, from nuclear to space sciences, India has asked the US to refrain from "irritants" like protectionist campaign against offshore outsourcing.

business Updated: Sep 24, 2010 15:09 IST

In a clear signal that its growing economy has high stakes for the American business, from nuclear to space sciences, India has asked the US to refrain from "irritants" like protectionist campaign against offshore outsourcing.

"These are avoidable irritants, like what the Ohio outsourcing ban has been and hopefully that will not happen," Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here yesterday at an interaction with the Council on Foreign Relations, a prestigious think tank.

As the two countries are fast paving way for nuclear commerce, several US companies engaged in the atomic reactors are eyeing the lucrative and large Indian energy market. India is aiming at generation of 20,000 MW nuclear power by 2020 from 4,000 MW at present.

Sharma said two countries are engaged in a strategic partnership and, "we should do only what helps in strengthening and consolidating this partnership, because there is so much at stake here, from agriculture to nuclear and space sciences, when we are engaged".

Hoping that the recent developments on visa fee hike and ban on government outsourcing by the Ohio state would only be "transient", he said they should get resolved for the sake of larger picture of bilateral engagement.

"These developments sometimes end up creating transient negativity. It will hopefully get appropriately addressed when the larger picture is viewed...We must not lose sight of the long-term objectives," he said.

India and the US had a bilateral trade of about USD 36 billion in 2009-10. Besides growing demand from 8.5-8.8 per cent economic expansion, India offers a large scope for the US defence manufacturers.

Reports suggest that the two countries are negotiating a close to USD six billion defence deal for aircraft purchase from Boeing.

After the bilateral Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting here on September 21, Sharma had said that largest orders for Boeing aircraft have also been placed by India. "How many (US) jobs would have been sustained and and how many jobs would be created?," he had asked.