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USTDA Signs Cooperation Framework Agreement with the Government of India



New Delhi
November 9, 2005  

NEW DELHI - Joint promotion of economic development was the subject of a Cooperation Framework Agreement between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and India's Ministry of Finance that was signed today. The agreement formalizes USTDA's program with public sector entities in India and covers activities such as project preparation, trade capacity building, investment analysis, training, and sector development. Such activities will foster India's economic ties with the U.S. public and private sectors and support key bilateral initiatives, such as the U.S.-India Economic and Energy Dialogues. 

The agreement was signed during the U.S.-India Financial and Economic Forum, as part of U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow's visit to India. U.S. Ambassador to India David C. Mulford and India's Ministry of Finance Secretary Ashok Kumar Jha signed the framework agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Indian governments, respectively. USTDA Director for Policy and Program Geoffrey R. Jackson was present at the signing. 

Today's signing of the Cooperation Framework Agreement will facilitate the coordination of USTDA activities with the Indian public sector, providing a mechanism for Ministry of Finance review and approval of new activities. Having the agreement in place is expected to speed the Indian Government's review and approval process of proposed activities, thereby facilitating the start of new initiatives in a broad range of key sectors, including energy and power, water, environment, and transportation. Currently under review are technical cooperation projects with GAIL, Limited and Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Limited, involving gas transport and coal mining, respectively. 

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.
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