India today raised with the US its concerns over the “protectionist” environment in that country and also the “continuing” difficulties faced by its IT professionals there.
“There are issues on both sides. I did convey our concerns about continuing difficulties on mobility of professionals,especially for our IT companies,and protectionist sentiments in the US with regard to global supply chain in services industry,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said here.
Addressing a joint press interaction after his wide-ranging talks,which included civil nuclear cooperation and trade ties,with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,Krishna said they expressed the hope that their economic relationship,which is very important to both countries,would grow much faster and realise its enormous potential.
Underlining four key action points discussed during her meeting with Krishna ahead of Indo-US strategic dialogue next month,Clinton said,”We have to continue expanding our trade and investment between our countries,” noting that when she first visited India in 1995,the trade figure stood at USD 9.5 billion,while it was USD 100 billion dollars at present with much more potential to realise.
“We should be working towards having one of the world’s largest trading relationships. We need to continue to reduce barriers and open our markets to greater trade and investment.
As part of this,we discussed our landmark civil nuclear agreement,” she said adding that Krishna has assured that India will provide level-playing field in this sector.
Noting that they had good discussion on the path to fostering commercial cooperation in civil nuclear energy,Krishna said,”I assured her of India’s commitment to provide a level playing field to all US companies,within the framework of national law and our international legal obligations.
“We were pleased that US companies are engaged in substantive discussions with the Indian operator,Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. We hope that they will make early progress towards contractual steps,” he said.
Noting that such interactions between India and the US also underscore the importance of regular consultations between the two governments at a time when enormous challenges and far-reaching changes were taking place in the world,Krishna said they reviewed the entire gamut of their bilateral relations.
“We have an extraordinary frequency and depth in our dialogue and engagement. We continue to make tangible progress across virtually every area of bilateral cooperation,” he said.
The two leaders also expressed satisfaction with the progress in the relationship.
Krishna said that they had a fruitful discussion on the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region,including relations with China,and developments in India’s immediate neighbourhood.
“We exchanged views on our recent interaction with our Bangladeshi counterpart also,” he said.