For Immediate Release: Nov 19, 2004
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Washington, D.C. – Under Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I. Juster said today that significant progress has been made on developing a work plan to expand high-technology trade between the United States and India. The U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) co-chaired by Juster and Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran met today to discuss practical steps to reduce the barriers to bilateral high-technology while enhancing the security of such trade.
“Today’s meeting built on the progress that has been made in increasing U.S.-India high-technology trade since the HTCG was established two years ago. The HTCG has proven to be a very effective forum through which to reduce barriers to bilateral high-technology trade while safeguarding trade in sensitive items,” said Juster. “We look forward to further meetings of the HTCG in 2005.”
Since the establishment of the HTCG, high-technology trade between the United States and India, including licensed trade in dual-use items, has grown substantially. In Fiscal Year 2004, the Commerce Department received more than twice as many export license applications as in 2002, and the approval rate increased from 84 percent to 90 percent. The Commerce Department approved 912 applications, and the overall value of licensed dual-use exports from the United States to India exceeded $90 million. This is more than triple the value of such exports just two years earlier. In addition, the Commerce Department has posted a representative at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to further facilitate U.S.-India high-technology trade.
Today’s meeting included a break-out session on trade facilitation, which focused on specific, near-term steps the two governments could take to reduce the tariff and non-tariff barriers to bilateral trade. Another session on strategic trade focused on ways to enhance the security of bilateral high-technology trade. During today’s HTCG meeting, the two governments reviewed progress on a previous action plan for expanding high-technology trade, and developed new action items. These new action items include continuing high-level dialogue on data privacy issues, supporting an industry-sponsored forum on India’s data privacy regime, hosting export promotion events in India, exchanging information to expedite end-use visits, and organizing an export control outreach seminar in India in 2005.
Today’s meeting of U.S. and Indian government representatives followed yesterday’s public-private forum held at the Commerce Department under the auspices of the HTCG. The forum focused on defense trade, data privacy, and export licensing. During yesterday’s forum, industry representatives developed recommendations for the two governments on defense technology and data privacy issues, which were reviewed during the government meetings today.
In addition, as a follow-up to the industry discussions, the U.S.-India Business Council will be leading a delegation of U.S. defense firms to the Aero India 2005 Conference on February 7-9, 2005 in Bangalore, India and a delegation of U.S. life sciences firms to the Biotech India 2005 Conference on February 9-12, 2005 in New Delhi, India.