The US is keen to make India a full partner in the “nuclear cartel” after it successfully secured a waiver for India from the influential Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
“President Bush, Secretary of State and the entire administration had worked tirelessly to ensure that India reached the stage where it has today in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” Assistant Secretary (Market Access and Compliance) in the US Department of Commerce David Bohigian said.
Bohigian said the Congress would continue to work for making India a full partner the NSG.
“We think it is crucial...from a strategic, political, economic and energy standpoint,”
He said the US administration would be working through the Congress and the Hyde Act to ensure $100 billion dollar market for American companies.
"The next step for the US (administration) will be working through the Congress and the Hyde Act and make sure that business opportunities will enable the US firms to stay in what is estimated to be $100 billion market," he said while addressing members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“Nuclear power and clean energy has opened trade opportunities worth hundred billion dollar and fifty billion dollar (respectively) in India”, Bohigian said. By 2025, nearly $17 trillion will be used in clean energy technologies globally.
“India and the United States can be active partners in this drive towards sustainable and green industry,” he said.
He said that industry, technology and growth focus will be the drivers of Indo-US trade in years to come and much of the investments will be in the small and medium enterprises.
The Indo-US bilateral trade relationship is projected to grow at about 50 per cent to $60 billion dollar during 2008-09, against about $41.6 billion in 2007-08.
“When you look at the energy map of 2020 and beyond, certainly nuclear has a key role to play in India’s growth,” Bohigian said.
According to industry body Assocham, about 40 companies, including Videocon, have already started talks with foreign firms to set up nuclear power plants envisaging a total investment of about Rs 2,00,000 crore in India. Industry has sought an amendment in the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which currently specifies that a government company should hold at least 51 per cent stake in any nuclear power entity