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US-India PSAG Meets For The First Time

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

01 October 2007

The US-India Trade Policy Forum’s Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) held its first meeting in New York last week, the Office of the US Trade Representative has announced.

US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath met with the PSAG’s members, all leading trade experts, to discuss ways in which the PSAG could help to inject strategic, policy-related ideas into the Trade Policy Forum.

Ambassador Schwab and Minister Nath asked the group to examine the desired situation over the next two to five years, and to provide recommendations on the incremental steps that can be taken to overcome obstacles and enable unfettered trade and investment.

“The US-India economic partnership is the strongest it has ever been, and trade has played a vital role in that development,” observed Ambassador Schwab. She continued:

“Results have been achieved by the Trade Policy Forum’s government-to-government dialogue. I look forward to taking on board the Private Sector Advisory Group’s recommendations for intensifying trade and investment flows in coming years.”

“The Private Sector Advisory Group provides an opportunity on an institutional basis to identify areas of mutual interest impacting bilateral trade,” added Minister Nath. “It is a unique arrangement, wherein both sides will engage to evolve a set of core ideas that will provide impetus to the bilateral trade and also promote transparency between the Trade Policy Forum and the private sector.”

Representing the United States at the first meeting of the Private Sector Advisory Group were:

  • Dr. C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Peterson Institute for International Economics (Co-Chair)
  • Ambassador Carla Hills, Former U.S. Trade Representative, currently Chairman and CEO of Hills & Co.
  • Mr. John J. Castellani, President, Business Roundtable
  • Mr. Ron Somers, President of the U.S. India Business Council

Attending on behalf of India were:

  • Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Chairman, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (Co-Chair)
  • Mr. V. Govindarajan, Member Secretary, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
  • Lt. Gen. (ret.) S.S. Mehta, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry
  • Mr. Habil Khorakiwala, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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