US India trade group seeks investment treaty

September 22nd, 2011 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 22 (IANS) Highlighting the rise of India, a leading US-India trade advocacy group has suggested early conclusion of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to take their relationship to an entirely new level.

“This will protect US investment into India, where our firms can tap into India’s vast market, while providing an incentive for Indian investment flowing into the United States,” according to the United States India Business Council (USIBC) President Ron Somers.

“A BIT between the two countries will facilitate greater two-way opportunity for investment, leading to export-led growth and jobs - for both sides,” he stated.

Taking note of several major business deals struck by US companies, Somers said: “The bounty is limitless.”

The trade advocacy group with a membership of 380 top US companies and two dozen Indian companies has formed a working group to flesh out the contours of a bilateral trade and investment arrangement, he said.

“Such an arrangement should consider movement of technical professionals, facilitating ’round the clock’ innovation where intellectual property is rewarded and protected and where market access is enjoyed by both sides, and, importantly, where environment and labour are respected.”

Asserting that “India is on the move”, Somers said New Delhi “isn’t waiting for some grand bargain to be worked out at Doha. Instead, India is reaching out to implement bilateral trade agreements to achieve mutual goals.”

“By not moving forward, American businesses stand to suffer even more than they already have,” he said

Noting that several top Indian leaders are in the US this week, Somers asked American business and government officials to reach out and remind them of the promise of the US-India partnership.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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