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America India FTA possible

08
Mar '07
NEW DELHI:


The US is not averse to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India and that would possible if bilateral economic engagements increase, said a senior US Government official.

"Some people suggest India-US FTA and I say why not. But we have to do a lot of work before that," Douglas Hartwick, Assistant US Trade Representative for South and South West Asia said at a meet on Indo-US Economic Cooperation.

There has been an extra-ordinary growth in India-US economic relations during last five years but lagged behind in comparison to the level of China-US engagement, he said.

Deals on high technology and nuclear power between the two countries last year, will definitely give an impetus to growth of economic ties and 2007 could well be the year in implementing these agreements, Hartwick said.

Successful conclusion of Doha Round of talks at the WTO were a top priority for President George W Bush and the new Congress was reaching out and working with administration on trade issues, he informed.

To increase trade in services sector the US should liberalise visa regime, recognise degrees awarded by Indian institutions and relax labour certification, said Ajay Dua, Secretary in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
There should also be an increase in items of trade between the two countries, he said.


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