India, US to fast track negotiations on bilateral investments

India, US to fast track negotiations on bilateral investments

New Delhi: India and the United States have agreed to "fast-track" technical negotiations needed for an early conclusion of the bilateral investment agreement the two are negotiating, a commerce ministry statement said Thursday.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who is on a four-day visit to the US, met Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington on Tuesday when they also decided to "re-invigorate the Trade Policy Forum to make give it more teeth to resolve bilateral commercial issues.

"There would be two rounds of negotiations before the next meeting of the Ministerial level TPF expected to be held in October 2011 in India," the statement said. Sharma discussed with Kirk steps taken by the government to sustain India’s economic growth and the opportunities it offered for the U.S. businesses.

Infrastructure, agriculture and agro-processing; food processing; cold chain logistics; manufacturing of electronic devices including chip design were identified as areas with bilateral cooperative possibilities. The US welcomed steps by India to reduce tariffs on a number of manufactured or imported products. The US is one of India’s top trading partners.