Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

India-U.S. Businesses discuss opportunities to facilitate trade in Biotechnology, June 16, 2005

June 16, 2005

Washington, D.C. – As a coordinated activity of the India-U.S. High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG), over 150 senior representatives from U.S. and Indian businesses, along with officials from the United States and Indian governments, met on June 15 to discuss strengthening biotechnology business and trade opportunities. The workshop, "Facilitating Biotechnology Cooperation in Trade and Investment,” was hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by the U.S.-India Business Council and sponsored by other industry groups.

Participants in the biotechnology workshop discussed opportunities for U.S.-India trade and investment in the biotechnology sector, especially in agricultural, pharmaceutical, and life science areas. Of special interest to U.S. businesses was the discussion of India’s recently passed patent legislation and a summary of its impact and future implementation. Perspectives to promote biotechnology on the state level were also heard from representatives of U.S. and Indian states, including Maryland, Virginia, Uttaranchal, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy Benjamin Wu noted that this private sector U.S.-India HTCG event, and other similar events, leading up to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Washington visit with President Bush next month, will help develop the next stage in the expanding and deepening U.S.-India relationship and will build upon the recent high-level exchanges and initiatives between our two governments.

Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Peter Lichtenbaum, who serves as the U.S. co-chair of the HTCG with Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, noted that industry perspectives were critical to the success of the HTCG, and that recommendations from the June 15 event would help to guide government-to-government discussions on facilitating bilateral biotechnology trade and investment.

Workshop speakers included Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dr. David A. Sampson, Indian Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal, Indian Department of Biotechnology Secretary M.K. Bhan, U.S. India Business Council President Ron Somers, and Lt. General (Ret.) Daniel Christman, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The event was the fourth public-private dialogue on biotechnology and life sciences issues held under the auspices of the U.S.-India HTCG. The HTCG was initiated in November 2002 as a result of a commitment between President Bush and then Prime Minister of India to stimulate high-technology commerce between the two countries. The HTCG, which is co-chaired by the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security and the Indian Foreign Secretary, consists of senior representatives from each government and seeks to identify steps to create a favorable environment for high-technology trade and collaboration, while enhancing the security related to such trade.


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