Obama visit: Industry expects easing in US tech transfer

Obama visit: Industry expects easing in US tech transfer

New Delhi: India Inc expects to make a breakthrough during US President Barack Obama’s visit here next month on relaxation of export sanctions on dual-use technologies with both military and civil applications.

“We are keenly looking forward to a significant relaxation in the export control regime of the US for dual use technologies," Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra said.

The other chamber CII echoed the views.

“We are optimistic that there will be movement in easing export control regulations," CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said.

In the US export control regime, India was being denied technology in 10 of the 16 broad areas, including chemicals and biological materials, for the civil industries on the fear that they could be used for weaponisation.

These technologies fall under the categories ‘non- proliferation, national security, missile technologies and crime control’ by the US administration.

On the first day of his India visit on 6 November, Obama is scheduled to address the ‘Business and Entrepreneurship Summit´ jointly organised by CII, Ficci and the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in Mumbai.

“CII is hopeful that the interaction (between delegations of the two countries) will result in concrete decisions and actions in the field of agriculture, energy, education and infrastructure," Banerjee said.

Enhanced high-technology cooperation is also expected through agreements in aviation, space, defence and biotechnology, he said adding that the industry is also expecting an early conclusion of the proposed Totalisation Agreement as well as negotiations of the Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Once Totalisation Agreement is signed, the Indian professionals in the US working on short-term contracts would not have to pay social security taxes on their earnings.

Sending a message that Indian companies are not out to grab the American jobs, CII said, “Indian firms are investing immensely in the US, creating jobs, running training programmes, engaging in the M&A activity, undertaking R&D projects and increasing their contribution across multiple sectors."

Ficci on its part is doing “a Track II strategic dialogue" (informal diplomacy) with a leading think tank of the US, Brookings Institution, on 2 November, in the run-up to the Obama visit.

India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will address the Track II engagements.