Indo-US joint statement
Following is the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement at the joint press conference with US President George W Bush.india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 18:36 IST
The following is the text of the joint statement released after the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush in New Delhi on March 2:
President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the great progress the United States and India have made in advancing our strategic partnership to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.
Both our countries are linked by a deep commitment to freedom and democracy; a celebration of national diversity, human creativity and innovation; a quest to expand prosperity and economic opportunity worldwide; and a desire to increase mutual security against the common threats posed by intolerance, terrorism, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
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.
Reviewing the progress made in deepening the global partnership between the United States and India since their Joint Statement of July 18, 2005, the President and the Prime Minister reaffirm their commitment to expand even further the growing ties between their two countries.
Consistent with this objective, the two leaders wish to highlight efforts the United States and India are making together in the following areas, where they have:
For economic prosperity and trade
(1) Agreed to intensify efforts to develop a bilateral business climate supportive of trade and investment by:
1. Welcoming the report of the US-India CEO Forum, agreeing to consider its recommendations aimed at substantially broadening our bilateral economic relations, and directing the Chairs of the Indo-US Economic Dialogue to follow up expeditiously with the CEO Forum;
2. Endorsing the efforts of the US-India Trade Policy Forum to reduce barriers to trade and investment with the goal of doubling bilateral trade in three years;
3. Agreeing to advance mutually beneficial bilateral trade and investment flows by holding a high-level public-private investment summit in 2006, continuing efforts to facilitate and promote foreign direct investment and eliminate impediments to it, and enhancing bilateral consultations on various issues including tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services, and preventing the illicit use of the financial system.
Sought to expand cooperation in agriculture by:
1. Launching the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture with a three-year financial commitment to link our universities, technical institutions, and businesses to support agriculture education, joint research, and capacity building projects including in the area of biotechnology.
2. Endorsing an agreed workplan to promote bilateral trade in agriculture through agreements that: lay out a path to open the US market to Indian mangoes, recognise India as having the authority to certify that shipments of Indian products to the United States meet USDA organic standards, and provide for discussions on current regulations affecting trade in fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry and dairy, and almonds.
(3) Reaffirmed their shared commitment to completing the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) before the end of 2006, and agreed to work together to help achieve this outcome.
For energy security and a clean environment
(1) Welcomed the successful completion of discussions on India's separation plan and looked forward to the full implementation of the commitments in the July 18, 2005 Joint Statement on nuclear cooperation. This historic accomplishment will permit our countries to move forward towards our common objective of full civil nuclear energy cooperation between India and the United States and between India and the international community as a whole.
(2) Welcomed the participation of India in the ITER initiative on fusion energy as an important further step towards the common goal of full nuclear energy cooperation.
(3) Agreed on India's participation in FutureGen, an international public-private partnership to develop new, commercially viable technology for a clean coal near-zero emission power project. India will contribute funding to the project and participate in the Government Steering Committee of this initiative.
(4) Welcomed the creation of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which will enable India and the US to work together with other countries in the region to pursue sustainable development and meet increased energy needs while addressing concerns of energy security and climate change. The Partnership will collaborate to promote the development, diffusion, deployment and transfer of cleaner, cost-effective and more efficient technologies and practices.
(5) Welcomed India's interest in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international marine research endeavour that will contribute to long-term energy solutions such as gas hydrates.
(6) Noting the positive cooperation under the Indo-US Energy Dialogue, highlighted plans to hold joint conferences on topics such as energy efficiency and natural gas, to conduct study missions on renewable energy, to establish a clearing house in India for coal-bed methane/coal-mine methane, and to exchange energy market information.
For innovation and the knowledge economy
(1) Emphasizing the importance of knowledge partnerships, announced the establishment of a Bi-National Science and Technology Commission which the US and India will co-fund. It will generate collaborative partnerships in science and technology and promote industrial research and development.
(2) Agreed that the United States and India would work together to promote innovation, creativity and technological advancement by providing a vibrant intellectual property rights regime, and to cooperate in the field of intellectual property rights to include capacity building activities, human resource development and public awareness programmes.
(3) Agreed to continue exploring further cooperation in civil space, including areas such as space exploration, satellite navigation, and earth science. The United States and India committed to move forward with agreements that will permit the launch of US satellites and satellites containing US components by Indian space launch vehicles, opening up new opportunities for commercial space cooperation between the two countries.
(4) Welcomed the inclusion of two US instruments in the Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1. They noted that memoranda of understanding to be signed by ISRO and NASA would be significant steps forward in this area.
(5) Welcomed the US Department of Commerce's plan to create a license exception for items that would otherwise require an export license to end-users in India engaged solely in civilian activities.
For global safety and security
(1) Noted the enhanced counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries and stressed that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and rooted out in every part of the world.
(2) Welcomed the increased cooperation between the United States and India in the defence area, since the New Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship was signed on June 28, 2005, as evidenced by successful joint exercises, expanded defence cooperation and information sharing, and greater opportunities to jointly develop technologies and address security and humanitarian issues.
(3) Reaffirmed their commitment to the protection of the free flow of commerce and to the safety of navigation, and agreed to the conclusion of a Maritime Cooperation Framework to enhance security in the maritime domain, to prevent piracy and other transactional crimes at sea, carry out search and rescue operations, combat marine pollution, respond to natural disasters, address emergent threats and enhance cooperative capabilities, including through logistics support. Both sides are working to finalise a Logistics Support Agreement at the earliest.
(4) Welcomed India's intention to join the Container Security Initiative aimed at making global maritime trade and infrastructure more secure and reducing the risk of shipping containers being used to conceal weapons of mass destruction.
(5) Reiterated their commitment to international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
(6) Building on the July 2005 Disaster Relief Initiative, noted the important disaster management cooperation and their improved capabilities to respond to disaster situations.
(7) Recognised the importance of capacity building in cyber security and greater cooperation to secure their growing electronic interdependencies, including to protect electronic transactions and critical infrastructure from cyber crime, terrorism and other malicious threats.
Deepening democracy and meeting international challenges
(1) Recalled their joint launch of the UN Democracy Fund in September 2005 and offered the experience and expertise of both Governments for capacity building, training and exchanges to third countries that request such assistance to strengthen democratic institutions.
(2) Welcomed the decision of India and the United States to designate a representative to the Government Advisory Board of the International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT) located in Budapest to facilitate cooperative activities with ICDT.
(3) Agreed that the Virtual Coordination and Information Centres set up in September 2005 should be further strengthened and a bilateral meeting aimed at developing a practical programme for utilization of its services be held soon.
(4) Expressed satisfaction at the expedited USFDA drug approval processes that strengthen the combat against HIV/AIDS at the global level and encourage greater corporate participation to meet this challenge, including the establishment of the Indo-US Corporate Fund for HIV/AIDS.
(5) Agreed to expand bilateral efforts and continue cooperation in the area of medical research and strengthen technical capacity in food and drug regulation in India as well as address the concern on avian influenza, including agreement to reach out to the private sector, develop regional communications strategies, and plan an in-region containment and response exercise. The President welcomed India's offer to host the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza meeting in 2007.
(6) Welcomed India's membership in the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking, a partnership through which we will collaborate in the fight against illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts; we also welcome the opportunity to strengthen longstanding work together on the conservation of wildlife through cooperation on park management and ecotourism.
President Bush thanked Prime Minister Singh and the people of India for the warmth of their reception and the generosity of their hospitality.
First Published: Mar 02, 2006 15:13 IST