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03 July 2003

U.S., India Hold First Meeting of High-Technology Cooperation Group

(Representatives discussed ways to promote robust hi-tech commerce)
(650)


The U.S.-India High-Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG), made up of
trade representatives from the two governments, including U.S. Under
Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I. Juster and Indian Foreign Secretary
Kanwal Sibal, held its first meeting July 2 to promote bilateral
high-technology trade.


According to a July 2 press release from the Department of Commerce,
the United States and India "discussed a wide range of issues relevant
to creating the conditions for more robust bilateral high technology
commerce, including market access, tariff and non-tariff barriers,
strategic trade, and export controls."

The press release said that prior to the July 2 meeting, a
public-private forum was held in Washington to discuss critical issues
relevant to high technology cooperation between the United States and
India. Over 140 private industry representatives from both countries
attended and gave their input to the HTCG for its first meeting.

Following is the text of the Commerce Department press release:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of Commerce
Bureau of Industry and Security

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2003
Contact -- BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721 

United States and India Hold Talks On Stimulating High-Technology
Commerce

The United States and India today held the first full meeting of the
U.S.-India High-Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG). The two
governments agreed to form the HTCG in November 2002 to facilitate and
promote bilateral high-technology trade, including trade in dual-use
goods and technologies, as part of the broad commitment by President
Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee to transform the relationship between
the two countries.

The meeting was led by U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I.
Juster and Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal, and included
representatives of a number of agencies from both governments. The two
sides discussed a wide range of issues relevant to creating the
conditions for more robust bilateral high technology commerce,
including market access, tariff and nontariff barriers, strategic
trade, and export controls.

"Creating the conditions for a vibrant high-technology trade
relationship is a key component of the Administration's overall agenda
for fundamentally transforming U.S.-Indian relations. Both sides
discussed changes in policy and regulation that can facilitate such
trade and strengthen controls on the possible diversion of sensitive
items. Today's meeting of the HTCG was an important step in this
process," said Juster. "We look forward to working cooperatively with
India in the future to build on the progress that we have made today."

The discussions were informed by input received on Tuesday, July 1,
from over 140 representatives of U.S. and Indian private industry at a
public-private forum on U.S.-India trade and investment, convened
under the auspices of the HTCG. The day-long forum included
presentations on the climate for U.S.-India trade and investment, and
on financing innovation, and breakout panels focusing on the
information technology, defense technology, life sciences, and
nanotechnology sectors. The forum included remarks from Commerce
Deputy Secretary Sam Bodman, Under Secretary for Industry and Security
Ken Juster, Under Secretary for Technology Phil Bond, Indian Foreign
Secretary Kanwal Sibal, and more than 20 senior executives from U.S.
and Indian companies at the forefront of high-technology commerce
between the two countries. Under Secretary Bond, who moderated the
event, commented that, "The HTCG has placed a very high priority on
robust private sector participation from both the United States and
India. The industry dialogue was stimulating, thought-provoking, and
constructive towards enhancing the U.S.-India high-technology
relationship. This will encourage further industry collaborations to
strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustain economic growth
between our two countries." Details about the forum can be found at
www.bis.doc.gov.

The next meeting of the HTCG is expected to be held in Delhi, India
later this year.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)