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Jun 21, 2005 12:38 pm


INDIA AND US GROWING CLOSER TOGETHER



The Bush administration's focus on democracy has led to the important and worthwhile strategic decision to move closer to India. Ram Naharayan send me articles which spell it out:

Two stories of economic interest -- US-India trade prospects and India’s foreign trade plans.

First, an AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE news agency report which appeared in THE STANDARD, China’s business newspaper on June 17, 2005. It’s titled "US wants trade with India to match China level."

EXCERPTS:

***"The United States is eager to collaborate with India to increase the level of trade ... closer to the volume of trade we currently have with China,’’ David Sampson, Acting US Deputy Commerce Secretary, told American and Indian business leaders and scientists gathered under the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, a forum to expand trade.

***US trade with India stood at US$22 billion last year compared to US$231 billion with China.

***Sampson said that President George W Bush was ``committed to transforming relations between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy.’’

***India ranks fourth largest in the production of pharmaceuticals by volume, said Kapil Sibal [Indian Science and Technology Minister], and wants to be the world’s hub for vaccines and clinical trials.

***Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said there are 900 biotech firms in India with turnover expected to hit US$5 billion in the next three to four years from the current US$1 billion. ``We can expand rapidly with joint collaboration with US,’’ he said.

The second is a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA of June 17, 2005. It’s titled "Achieve the overseas trade target: PM."

EXCERPTS:

***Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday directed various ministries to remove constraints facing exports, including infrastructure bottlenecks and rigidity in labour laws. He endorsed the target of more than doubling India’s overseas trade of both goods and services to USD 500 billion in five years set by the Board of Trade when its members called on him here

***India’s export and import trade in both goods and services were less than USD 250 billion last fiscal. Merchandise exports were valued at USD 80 billion and imports amounted to USD 105 billion. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1145255,curpg-1.cms




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