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Foreign secy for realism in US-India trade talks

The two countries previously negotiated in February last year on a BIT

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at times US businesses make "unrealistic demands" that India cannot meet, referring to the annual Special 301 Report of the US Trade Representative's office on intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Also on Monday, US ambassador Richard Verma on Monday spoke of the need for a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with India.

Verma was speaking at a function organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The two countries previously negotiated in February last year on a BIT. The US is keen on this, as it believes such a treaty would facilitate protection for IPR.

Jaishankar said: "If we are overtly anchored on the past, we are not going to see the opportunities and possibilities in this relationship...At the same time, if we overstep the progress and raise expectations (unnecessarily), I think we would fall short in many respects and it creates its own backlash."

Adding: "We saw some of that expressed in the Special 301 Report last year... these are today's real issues."

The Special 301 Report for this year is expected to be issued next month. Verma said India-US ties had much "promise and energy in it".

"We share common objectives...As (US President Barack) Obama said, we want to be India's best partner...We are cooperating in a long-term way...We want to go from rhetoric to delivery."

He called upon both countries to work towards achieving the bilateral trade target of $500 billion a year, from $100 bn at present.

Power minister Piyush Goyal said at the CII event that he was seeking $25 bn from the US to invest in this country's power sector.

He said he would need $5 bn by way of foreign direct investment and $20 bn in long-term debt.

"I am all open for the green bucks in my sector of new and renewable energy,\" he said, inviting American business to invest in power distribution and transmission. He also asked them to bid for the ultra mega power projects.

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First Published: Tue, March 17 2015. 00:15 IST