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`There is need for greater thrust on ties with US in knowledge sectors'

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Mr Kerry's views on the subject assume greater significance as he is seen as a major force among the Democrats and as someone who can build a wider consensus on the issue of outsourcing.

Mr Saroj K. Poddar
Mr Saroj K. Poddar

Deepak Goel

New Delhi, Jan. 18

ON the back of growing Indo-American cooperation, the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Saroj K. Poddar, said there is still a need for greater thrust on economic ties between the two countries, specially in the knowledge sectors. The chamber would now engage with the US more in sectors of IT, nano-technology, defence and biotechnology, he said.

He also said that as India moves on the path of becoming one of the largest economies, it would require knowledge partners and the US would be a good partner.

Dispelling concern that the US was against outsourcing business activities, Mr Poddar, who met the US Senator, Mr John F. Kerry, during his recent visit to India, quoted the latter as saying that he was not against outsourcing and companies were free to decide where to move. However, Mr Kerry was not in favour of the companies availing themselves of grants from the US Government, by way of subsidies and research and development aids, and thus using the tax payers money and then moving out jobs from the US.

The US Senator said that he himself was a capitalist and was not opposed to moves that were in the interests of business. Mr Kerry's views on the subject assume greater significance as he is seen as a major force among the Democrats and as someone who can build a wider consensus on the issue of outsourcing.

Mr Kerry also acknowledged the fact that outsourcing in the manufacturing sector, particularly textiles, took place during the 1970s from the US and said that such things are considered normal in business and off shoring is purely based on economic factors.

The US Senator also lauded India's economic progress and saw enormous possibilities for co-operation and strengthening of ties between the two countries.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 19, 2006)
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