India, United States to Fast Track Trade Agreements

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Oct. 28 – India and the United States have agreed to expedite agreements to improve trade, investment and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cooperation.

Both countries stated their commitment during the end of the Sixth Ministerial Level meeting of the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF). The agreements will concentrate on agriculture, innovation and creativity, investment, services and tariff and non-tariff barriers.

India Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, was quoted by The Hindu as saying that although no deadline had been set for finishing these agreements they would happen soon. “The U.S. has submitted us a draft on these issues and we will certainly study it. We hope to sign agreement very soon. These are in continuation of the high-level engagement between the two countries and in the run-up to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s, visit to Washington next month.”

IPR cooperation is one of the major concerns that will be addressed by both. The Indo-U.S. TPF is also expected to enrich trade and economic engagement. Both countries said more access must be given to small and medium enterprises to enter their markets as well as added initiatives for India’s infrastructure, clean energy and environmental services, information and communications technologies.