For Immediate Release
February 5, 2003

United States and India Sign a Statement of Principles for Bilateral High-technology Commerce

U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I. Juster and Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal today signed a Statement of Principles for U.S.-India High Technology Commerce. The Statement of Principles is a significant achievement in fulfilling the commitment made in November 2001 by President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee to qualitatively transform U.S.-India relations.

“There is immense potential for trade in the high-technology sector between the United States and India, in areas ranging from information technology to telecommunications to biotechnology,” explained Juster. “The Statement of Principles that was signed today will serve as the framework for advancing such trade between our two countries consistent with our national security and foreign policy interests."

In the Statement of Principles, the governments of the United States and India recognize the untapped potential for U.S.-India high-technology commerce, the need to address economic and systemic issues inhibiting such trade (including tariff and non-tariff barriers), the need to engage in outreach and trade promotion to U.S. and Indian industry on market opportunities, and the central role of the private sectors in generating increased bilateral high-technology commerce. The Statement of Principles also recognizes both governments’ commitment to preventing the proliferation of sensitive goods and technologies, and notes the need to facilitate high technology trade consistent with laws and national security and foreign policy objectives.

Under Secretary Juster and Foreign Secretary Sibal first met in Delhi in November 2002 and pledged to consider steps that could be taken to enhance bilateral high technology trade, including trade in dual-use goods and technologies between the two countries.

In 2001, India ranked 28th among the United States’ export markets, behind such substantially smaller economies as Ireland and the Dominican Republic. U.S. high-technology companies have been interested in increasing their presence in the Indian economy, although many have expressed concerns about tariff and non-tariff barriers to entry.

The two governments plan to convene the first meeting of the India-United States High Technology Cooperation Group in the near future to develop a schedule of activities to further the Statement of Principles.

The Statement of Principles can be found on this Web site.