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India, US move forward on investment protection treaty

PTI | Nov 08 2011

India, US move forward on investment protection treaty

by Press Trust of India
New Delhi

The proposed India-US investment protection treaty is back on the negotiating table and is moving forward, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said today.

"Bilateral investment treaty is moving forward...," he said after a meeting of the India-US Commercial Dialogue, co-chaired by US Under Secretary of International Trade Fransisco Sanchez.

The proposed treaty has remained on the backburner for several years due to differences between the two sides on the level of protection on investments sought by the US.

"What Fransisco told me today gives first sure sign that these guys are back at the table. They want it to get moving," Khullar told reporters here.

The US has been one of the major sources of foreign direct investment to India. Between April 2000 to August 2011, India received FDI worth 9.91 billion, according to the Industry Ministry data.

Both the sides also discussed other issues of bilateral interest. India has been voicing concern on hike in visa fee by the US which affects Indian services industry particularly the IT sector.

The US on its part, saw greater opening of the Indian economy in sectors like multi-brand retail and removal. Sanchez had made it clear yesterday that the US was irked by the "business environment" in India. He had particular problem with India’s national solar mission which requires sourcing of equipment from domestic firms.

The India-US Commercial Dialogue is an institutional arrangement between the two countries to promote trade and remove obstacles.

The bilateral trade between the countries stood at 45.5 billion in 2010-11.

 source: PTI