India, US to ink framework pact on trade, investment
India and US are set to sign a framework agreement on trade and investment here next week during a three-day visit by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.business Updated: Mar 09, 2010 11:40 IST
India and US are set to sign a framework agreement on trade and investment here next week during a three-day visit by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.
Sharma and United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk will sign the document that seeks to build on the success of the Trade Policy Forum by facilitating trade and investment flows between the United States and India on March 17, the Indian embassy here announced Monday.
During his stay in Washington, Sharma is also scheduled to have meetings with the Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He will visit New York on March 19.
The India-US Trade Policy Forum was established after the visit of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to US in July 2005. The USTR and Commerce and Industry Minister are the co-chairs of this forum.
Five Focus Groups have been discussing various trade policy issues of mutual interest relating to (a) tariff and non-tariff barriers; (b) services; (c) agriculture; (d) investment; and (e) creativity and innovation. The sixth meeting of the Forum was held in New Delhi in October 2009.
The India-US Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) comprising prominent trade personalities from India and US would also meet on March 17. The PSAG was established in September 2007 to provide strategic recommendations and insights to the Trade Policy Forum.
Sharma will speak at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank, on March 17 and at the US Chamber of Commerce on March 18.
In New York, Sharma is scheduled to have meetings with US industry including meetings with the Board of US Council for International Business and the India Business Forum.
During the November official state visit of Prime Minister to Washington, a new India-US Economic and Financial Partnership was established to strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on economic, financial, and investment-related issues.
The Partnership will meet at the cabinet level once a year, alternately in the United States and India. Working group and sub-cabinet level meetings will be held throughout the year to advance discussions on specific economic policy areas.
The India-US Economic and Financial Partnership will be formally launched by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in New Delhi on April 6.