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Doha talks: US to seek Indian help

The US commerce secretary will seek Indian cooperation to break a deadlock in WTO talks during a visit next week.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 12:50 IST

US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez will seek India's 'full cooperation', specifically in efforts to liberalise trade in industrial and agricultural products and services, to break a deadlock in world trade talks during a visit next week.

India is increasingly becoming a vital and important partner on matters of security and trade and it will become a key player going forward in the next Doha Round of trade talks, Gutierrez noted in an official announcement Thursday of his two-day India visit from February 13-14.

"My visit will focus on expanding our bilateral economic relationship and working to increase US exports to India," said Gutierrez, who will meet with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and other senior government officials and business leaders.

"I look forward to discussing with India's government the opportunities our two nations face as we strengthen our relationship and expand upon our economic successes."

"American companies should be exporting more to India, and India should work with us to make sure American exporters and businesses are treated fairly," said Gutierrez.

The two sides will discuss ways to promote opportunity and economic growth between them, the announcement said. The meetings will include discussions on enforcing intellectual property rights, reducing red tape for US companies trying to do business in India and the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act signed by President George Bush in December 2006.

Gutierrez will reaffirm Bush's commitment to the Asia Pacific partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate initiated by him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the leaders of Australia, China, Japan and South Korea to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

He will also give a major address to members of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

US Under Secretary for International Trade Frank Lavin led the largest US government business development mission in history to India during Nov-Dec 2006. The mission included 250 American business representatives and state government officials who explored export opportunities to India.

The US is India's largest trading partner, and through November that partnership was worth $29 billion in two-way trade. US exports to India increased 25 per cent from January-November 2005 through January-November 2006, and investment is up 10 per cent.