U.S., India Ink Deal to Tap 'Limitless' Trade Potential

India was the 17th largest goods export market for the U.S. in 2008.

The United States and India launched a new blitz to boost economic, trade and financial cooperation on March 17. They signed a framework for cooperation on trade and investment to build on trade growth, which has more than doubled in the last five years.

"There is almost limitless potential for growth in trade between our two countries, and that can contribute to economic recovery and job creation in the United States and continued economic growth in India," said Ron Kirk, the top U.S. trade official.

"We can realize that potential by working together toward the goals set forth in the framework agreement," by encourage technological innovation, increasing agriculture, services, and industrial goods and boosting investment flows, he said.

Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, inked the trade and investment pact with Indian minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma.

The "numerous synergies linking the economies have not been tapped fully as yet, he said, adding that the pact could "create the right environment to ensure that the relationship brings maximum benefit to the maximum number of people."

The development and deployment of clean energy and environmental technologies would also be encouraged under the agreement to support Indias infrastructure growth, Sharma said.

U.S. goods and services trade with India totaled $66 billion in 2008. India was the 17th largest goods export market for the U.S. in the same year.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will travel to India on April 6-7 to launch the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership in New Delhi with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The partnership was first announced in November when President Barack Obama hosted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the first state visit since he entered the White House in January.

The United States already has a standing dialogue with fellow emerging Asian giant China. Officials said that unlike the dialogue with China, which is multi-ministerial, the forum with India was focused purely on economic and financial regulatory policy, led by the U.S. Treasury and the Indian finance ministry.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

TAGS: The Economy
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