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US working out new India specific export control regime

business Updated: Jun 08, 2010 15:36 IST

Anticipating a wider cooperation with India in space and defence, US is working out a new India specific export control regime to ease restrictions on export of hi-tech equipment.

Such an export control regime which will also address the concerns of New Delhi is expected to be in place before the November visit of President Barack Obama, a top State Department official said.

The new policy will also remove restrictions on export of hi-tech equipment and weapon sales to India.

"Another India-specific review is under way", Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters.

The US assurance comes as Washington is undertaking a wider view of the country's overall export control regime. President Obama last year ordered a full review of Washington's export-control regime and the process is expected to be completed in the next few months.

"In fact we will probably split off from the wider review," Blake said as he pointed out that Washington had made "a great deal of progress over the last six years or so in reducing the export controls that apply to India".

"There's been a lot of progress, but there still are some controls. So there's a reciprocal process under way to seek the necessary assurances from the Indians about the strengthening of their own export control regime that would enable us to relax our restrictions," he said.

Blake anticipated that there's going to be further good progress on this.

"We had a good exchange during the strategic dialogue in which we shared ideas about how we can achieve that good progress. So I expect that there will be some positive announcements to be made before the president's visit, hopefully well before," he said.

Blake said the US is having a close look at the entities list. "And many entities have already come off it over the last several years. But now there's a focus on entities like ISRO and DRDO -- the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Defence Research and Development Organisation," he said.

"So again, we think that there are enormous opportunities for American companies to do more and work more with their colleagues in the space area and also in the defence area. So these are steps that would serve both of our countries. We shared ideas about how we could make progress on that. And we to see progress on that in the fairly near future," Blake said.