Pallone leaves for India to attend economic summit

Thursday, 21 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: U.S. Representative Frank Pallone has left on a weeklong trip to India to attend the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit next week.

Pallone said he was encouraged by economic and trade developments over the past year after President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated productive discussions.

The New Jersey congressman, who is founder of the Congressional Caucus on India, plans to point to several positive developments, including an agreement between U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Kenneth Juster and Indian officials.

Pallone noted that India and the U.S. also agreed to create the India-U.S. High-Technology Cooperation Group, which will identify ways to increase trade in "dual use" goods and technology.

Sanctions imposed by the U.S. against India for nuclear testing in 1998 barred the U.S. from providing dual-use technology to many Indian companies. Pallone is pleased that the U.S. has lifted the ban on most of these firms.

The three-day summit in New Delhi from November 24 will reveal how the Indian economy can reach its potential and build on its competitive advantages.

Pallone will also focus on how the U.S. economy can benefit from more economic development and trade with India.

The World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit has been held annually since 1986 and plays a vital role in bringing together members of the international and Indian business and political communities.

Last March, Pallone travelled to New Delhi to be awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards, recognising his work to better relations between the U.S. and India.

Pallone founded the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in 1993. He continues to serve as a member of the executive committee of the caucus, whose mission is to promote better Indo-U.S. ties and to be a voice for more than 1.6 million Americans of Indian descent.

Over the years, Pallone has strongly urged the U.S. to lift economic and military sanctions against India. These sanctions were finally lifted in October last year allowing the two nations to finally forge ahead with stronger economic and military cooperation.

He says the Indian American community, which has achieved one of the highest levels of education and affluence among any ethnic group in the nation, can serve as an important human "bridge" between the world's two largest democracies.
Source: IANS
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