Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma today called for deeper economic engagement between India and the US with a special thrust to investments on mutually agreed priority areas, specially infrastructure, energy, science and technology, space research and high technology collaboration and agro processing.
Sharma, who met US trade representative Ron Kirk last evening in Washington, said Indian investments in the US in 2008-09 were more than US investments in India and that vigorous efforts were required to deepen mutual economic engagement.
Kirk will be travelling to New Delhi later this month for discussions on Indo-US trade policy forum.
The US trade representative expressed appreciation for the initiative taken by India to re-energise the Doha process by holding the informal WTO ministerial meeting in September.
Both Kirk and Sharma noted that the leaders of the two countries had reaffirmed their commitment for an ambitious and balanced outcome of Doha round by 2010. The two also noted that progress had taken place since the Delhi meeting and a roadmap had been chalked out by the negotiating chairs in Geneva ahead of the WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for November 2009.
Sharma, meanwhile, conveyed India's concerns regarding the effect of the loss of duty preference under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which had affected many labour intensive industries in India. He also emphasised the need to create a special dispensation for Indian professionals travelling to the US on temporary assignments in fulfilment of contractual obligations.