Washington: The US Commerce Department will this month give General Electric’s India division a standing license to import controlled technology, commerce secretary Gary Locke said on Wednesday.
The company will be designated a “validated end user,” allowing it to import certain items like civilian aircraft technology and explosive detection equipment, the Commerce Department said.
“That means the company will be allowed to enter a pre-approved, export express lane as a trusted end user. No more need for a license,” Locke said in a speech to the US-India Business Council.
GE India is the first company to qualify under the programme the department established in October 2007 to cut red tape in trade of sensitive technology, eliminating the requirement to obtain licenses for each transaction for companies that pass security tests.
GE will use its new status to exchange technology with its security, aviation and energy infrastructure businesses in India, the company said in a statement.
“It will not only permit technology exchange on energy and aviation between GE and our research facilities in India, but will also permit the sale of advanced security systems to the Indian ministry of defence, Indian police and other Indian security organizations,” said Tejpreet Chopra, chief executive of GE India.
Last year, US companies exported $18 billion worth of goods to India, and India shipped the United States $25 billion worth of goods, Locke said.
The United States wants India to loosen foreign direct investment restrictions in the financial services, retail and cable and satellite television sectors, Locke said.
India also needs to boost its protection of intellectual property rights, he said.
“Piracy and counterfeiting is still a serious problem and India’s criminal enforcement regime remains weak.” Locke said.
“US businesses also need more clarity on guidelines and procedures for doing business in India, which can be every bit as difficult a barrier to entry as onerous tariffs,” he said.