Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 11:19 AM IST

India should strengthen IPR laws to increase trade with America: US Envoy

Updated: Oct 25, 2016 21:12 IST

Agartala (Tripura) [India], Oct 25(ANI): In order to increase trade between United States and India, the government should strengthen its existing Intellectual Property Right laws otherwise many of the American companies with their new developed ideas and technology would not be able to invest in the Indian market, said a senior diplomat of U.S. posted in India.

"A very important issue in US-India relationship and if we think about making our partnership stronger and if we think about increasing trade and investment one of the thing United States is pushing India to do, is to strengthen its IPR laws, because Intellectual Property Rights protections are stronger in United States and Europe than they are in India," said US Consul-General in Kolkata Craig L Hall while interacting with students of the Agartala National Institute of Technology.

He said that on the persuasion of the US government the present government of India has taken some initiatives to amend and make stronger IPR laws.

"We have asked the Indian government to strengthen the IPR protections, so that we can bring more business and technology to India, so that the businessmen have the confidence to invest here," Hall said.

Responding to the visa regime, which has become one of the prime issues in the US Presidential election, Hall said "A country has reasons to control its borders. US recognises it and it is very difficult for Americans to get visa to come to India. But that's the way the world works, we have passport, visas and countries, they control borders. We think that it is very easy to get access to US, in fact it is too easy to get in and then people go to United States with visa and stay beyond the visa. So there is a debate there in US now what to do with those people."

Noting that the Indo-US relationship is at all-time-best, the US diplomat said that his nation fully supports India's effort to get a seat in the UN Security Council.

"We said repeatedly and in publicly stated that we fully support India having a seat on the Security Council in a reformed UN system, but the difficulty is that U.S. does not control the U.N, we are one voice, it works on consensus and politics, but we are supporting India in its effort to achieve that goal," said Hall

"Maybe U.S and India can together peruse China and everybody's interest, but it is not just China, even Africa wants more seats, Latin America want more seats, so it is very complex," he added.

He said that trade has played a central role in strengthening the relation between US and India especially after India's adoption of neoliberal policies since the past decade.

Hall pointed out that in the year 2000, the overall bilateral trade between India and US in the goods and services was only 19 billion dollars while in the last year it increased to 107 billion dollars.

"Prime Minister Modi and President Obama have determined to make the trade reach 500 billion dollars a year. From the U.S' perspective India is its tenth largest trading partner, but only represents 1.8 percent of US trade. The rank of India as a destination for US exports is one of 18th largest market and only 1.4 percent of US export comes to India. If we think about India's export, it is the ninth largest exporter to the United States and India's export to United States is less than two percent of all of its imports," he said while adding that there is huge potential to further increasing it.

The US Consul General was on a two day visit to the state accompanied by his wife Meeryung Hall who sang a Bengali composition by Noble Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and mesmerized the audience at the NIT before leaving for Kolkata. (ANI)