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Lift restriction on dual use tech trade: India

March 24, 2009 19:20 IST

India has pressed the new Barack Obama administration to lift the 'unnecessary' restrictions on international trade with New Delhi on dual use items and technology.

Addressing a meeting at the prestigious Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think-tank, prime minister's special envoy on climate change Shyam Saran also hoped that America would scrap the so-called entity list, which prohibits sale of US technology to a number of Indian companies.

Saran, who played an influential role in the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal in various capacities, said: "With the opening up of nuclear commerce with India, there is a need now to review and remove these unnecessary restrictions on international trade with dual use item and technology."

As India's economy matures and its industry moves into higher-end manufacturing, the demand for high technology goods and services is destined for a major boost. And the US, of course, remains preferred source of such goods and services, he said.

"It is also our hope that the so-called Entity List, which still prohibits sale of US technology and goods to a number of Indian high-tech companies, will be scrapped sooner or later. The positive impact of a more liberal technology trade regime is already beginning to make an impact on India's sourcing of defence hardware from the US," Saran said.

Thanks to the historic Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, Saran said, the two countries are now on a different level of engagement on the 'hitherto sensitive and even contentious' issues of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, compared to the past.

"The success of the civil nuclear initiative has engendered a sense of assurance and confidence enables us to look proactively and not defensively, at a new global agenda for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament," Saran, who had been the foreign secretary and prime minister's special envoy on nuclear deal, said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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