Seeking to enhance the economic relationship between the two nations, India and the United States on Thursday agreed to put the technical negotiations for early conclusion of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) on the fast track.

This was decided during meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma and U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk here. It was also agreed to make the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) more robust and effective to resolve bilateral commercial issues.

There would be two rounds of negotiations before the next meeting of the Ministerial-level TPF, expected to be held in October, 2011, in India. During his meeting with the U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk in Washington, Mr. Sharma apprised him of various policy approaches being taken by India to sustain its high GDP growth and the opportunities it offered for U.S. businesses to develop partnerships with the Indian private sector. He specially mentioned infrastructure, agriculture and agro processing, food processing, cold chain logistics and manufacture of electronic devices, including chip design, as areas with bilateral cooperative possibilities.

Mr. Sharma, who is on a four-day visit to U.S., also raised issues of importance for the Indian industry in their business operations in the United States. He said the U.S. welcomed the unilateral action taken by India in reducing tariffs on a number of products, including raw pistachios, cranberry products, seedless raisins, processed foods, medical equipment, fertilizers, chemicals and heavy machinery.

Earlier, addressing a gathering of policy makers, economists and scholars at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, he highlighted the increasing role of emerging economies in the perspective of the financial and economic crisis, which is causing a rebalancing of the global economy.

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