Monday, November 29, 1999

``Dual technology denial not in interest of Indo-US relations``

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Lalit K Jha Washington, June 18 (PTI) Dual technology denial regime by the US is not in the interest expanding the Indo-US relationship in the strategic sphere, industry body FICCI has said. "Such irritants in the Indo-US economic relationship need to be sorted out before the November visit of the US President, Barack Obama," FICCI President Rajan Bharti Mittal told a group of Indian reporters at the fag-end of his more than two-week US trip. The Indian industry has thus joined hands with the government in urging Americans to lift stringent export controls on high-technology transfer. Dual use technology refers to goods used either for civilian or military purposes. Mittal''s comments come as the US has indicated that it is working out a new India specific export control regime to ease restrictions on export of hi-tech equipment. The US is undertaking a wider view of the country''s overall export control regime. President Obama last year ordered a full review of Washington''s export-control regime and the process is expected to be completed in the next few months. "American companies do realise, I am sure the American Government also realises, that it is not in the interest of the economic relationship and for the American companies and it can be win win both sides," Mittal said. Removal of dual technology denial regime is one of the wish list of the Indian corporate sector, when Obama visits India in November. "I am a strong believer that this should be off the table and the entities of course, because it would open the relationship (between the two countries)," he said. "Economics is very much attached to the way the politics of the region is to be run," he said in response to a question. Noting that the issue of high-technology denial to India was raised by him during his meetings here along with the FICCI secretary general, Amit Mitra, Mittal said lifting these restrictions is in the best interest of the American companies; who are not able to do business with India, while their competitors from other developed countries are marching ahead. "We got a favorable response. And as American President''s visit is pending now, I am sure these would be taken at the highest level in discussions," Mittal said.

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