India wants to move forward on nuclear deal

May 22nd, 2009 - 10:43 am ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 22 (IANS) India has assured US industry that the India-US civil nuclear deal was very high on the priority of the new government and it would very much like to move forward on it.

Noting that the US did the “heavy hitting” in getting the nuclear deal through, Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar told the US-India Business Council (USIBC) Thursday that India was keen at commercial deals with US manufacturers for building nuclear reractors.

To facilitate the process, New Delhi was looking at speeding up negotiations on arrangements to give effect to India’s right to reprocess US origin spent fuel and wanted to pursue this vigorously.

New Delhi was also looking at expediting joining the international nuclear liability convention, another issue of concern for US nuclear suppliers, she said.

On its side, flowing from the nuclear deal, New Delhi wanted a liberalisation of export procedures for high technology goods and services to make them more facilitative to trade instead of restrictive, she said noting that the US was the single largest source for technical collaboration in India.

Noting that India no longer has a problem with the credibility of reforms, Shankar hoped that the US companies will take advantage of the enormous potential of cooperation and take their business relationship to the next level.

“If ever there was a time to raise the US-India profile, this is our moment!” USIBC President Ron Somers said greeting the ambassador.

“The astonishing electoral outcome in India provides a rare opportunity for USIBC - as the premier business advocacy association promoting deeper US-India ties - to awaken the Obama Administration and India to the absolute excitement which was so perfectly expressed last week by the people of India,” he said.

“With a new government in India now in formation, and the Obama administration presently staffing key posts that will shape US-India engagement for the long future, our companies have much at stake to make certain that momentum is regained, our trajectory is pointed ever-upward, and our countries are united against petty backsliding and protectionism,” Somers said.

USIBC, formed in 1975 to deepen trade and strengthen commercial ties between the two countries has a membership of 300 companies, representing the top companies investing in India joined by Indian global companies.

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