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Economy another big point in Bush's agenda

The nuclear deal apart, a big push to trade and economic links between India and US was another high point.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 17:42 IST

The momentous nuclear deal apart, a big push to trade and economic links between India and the US was another high point of President George W Bush's visit, especially in knowledge economy, energy and innovative technologies.

Reference to economic and trade ties topped the agenda that was spelt out in the joint statement issued by the two sides after talks here Thursday between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush.

"The successful transformation of the US-India relationship will have a decisive and positive influence on the future international system as it evolves in this new century," the statement said.

It said the two leaders had agreed to intensify efforts to develop a bilateral business climate supportive of trade and investment and welcomed a report submitted earlier by the US-India CEO Forum.

The co-chairmen of the Indo-US Economic Dialogue - Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and US National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard - were also directed to follow-up with the CEO Forum expeditiously.

In their report, Tata Sons chief Ratan Tata and JP Morgan Chase chairman William Harrison - co-chairs of the forum - specified a road map to remove roadblocks in the way of enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations.

"Among the various recommendations, the forum wants an investment fund to be set up to finance cross-border flow of capital between the two countries and to make Mumbai the preferred hub for Asian operations of US firms," an official said.

It has also said a joint commission be set up on science and technology that can look at areas of cooperation and collaborations in research institutions of the two countries, the official added.

"Some of the recommendations have already been reflected in the decisions taken by us today," said Manmohan Singh, addressing the forum representatives jointly with Bush, at Hyderabad House.

The CEOs Forum, set up during Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington last year, has 10 members each from the two sides and was tasked with finding ways to boost bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The joint statement also acknowledged the efforts of the US-India Trade Policy Forum - co-chaired by Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and US Trade Representative Rob Portman - to reduce barriers to investment and double trade in three ears.

It said trade and investment flows between the two countries would be advanced by holding a high-level public-private investment summit in 2006, and by continuing the efforts to facilitate and promote foreign direct investment.

The two sides stressed the import of knowledge partnerships and announced the establishment of a bi-national Science and Technology Commission to be co-funded by India and US for collaborative partnerships and industrial research.

The contours of the economic content of the statement was also provided by Kamal Nath and Portman who met Wednesday and stressed the potential for doubling the trade volumes between the two countries, currently at $21 billion.

Portman had said that US' merchandise trade with China alone was valued at $300 billion annually.

A parallel meeting was also held of the India-US Economic Dialogue to review the progress made in the initiatives launched in 2001 to push trade and investment and collaborations in environment and finance The momentous nuclear deal apart, a big push to trade and economic links between India and the US was another high point of President George W. Bush's visit, especially in knowledge economy, energy and innovative technologies.

Reference to economic and trade ties topped the agenda that was spelt out in the joint statement issued by the two sides after talks here Thursday between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush.

"The successful transformation of the US-India relationship will have a decisive and positive influence on the future international system as it evolves in this new century," the statement said.

It said the two leaders had agreed to intensify efforts to develop a bilateral business climate supportive of trade and investment and welcomed a report submitted earlier by the US-India CEO Forum.

The co-chairmen of the Indo-US Economic Dialogue - Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and US National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard - were also directed to follow-up with the CEO Forum expeditiously.

In their report, Tata Sons chief Ratan Tata and JP Morgan Chase chairman William Harrison - co-chairs of the forum - specified a road map to remove roadblocks in the way of enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations.

"Among the various recommendations, the forum wants an investment fund to be set up to finance cross-border flow of capital between the two countries and to make Mumbai the preferred hub for Asian operations of US firms," an official said.

It has also said a joint commission be set up on science and technology that can look at areas of cooperation and collaborations in research institutions of the two countries, the official added.

"Some of the recommendations have already been reflected in the decisions taken by us today," said Manmohan Singh, addressing the forum representatives jointly with Bush, at Hyderabad House.

The CEOs Forum, set up during Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington last year, has 10 members each from the two sides and was tasked with finding ways to boost bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The joint statement also acknowledged the efforts of the US-India Trade Policy Forum - co-chaired by Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and US Trade Representative Rob Portman - to reduce barriers to investment and double trade in three ears.

It said trade and investment flows between the two countries would be advanced by holding a high-level public-private investment summit in 2006, and by continuing the efforts to facilitate and promote foreign direct investment.

The two sides stressed the import of knowledge partnerships and announced the establishment of a bi-national Science and Technology Commission to be co-funded by India and US for collaborative partnerships and industrial research.

The contours of the economic content of the statement was also provided by Kamal Nath and Portman who met Wednesday and stressed the potential for doubling the trade volumes between the two countries, currently at $21 billion.

Portman had said that US' merchandise trade with China alone was valued at $300 billion annually.

A parallel meeting was also held of the India-US Economic Dialogue to review the progress made in the initiatives launched in 2001 to push trade and investment and collaborations in environment and finance.