US bats for India’s APEC membership

Nisha-Biswal India

With India aspiring to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the US is in talks with India to understand its interests.

“Largely, the conversation is around better understanding of its desire for membership in the APEC and India’s approach and philosophy as it comes into a largely economically focused body on important issues of open free and fair trade”, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said.

The APEC forum comprises 21 Pacific Rim member economies promoting free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The US has welcomed India’s desire to join the APEC and is holding talks to engage with India in a constructive way.

Elaborating that the US welcomes India’s interest in joining the group, Ms Biswal added, “India’s interest is one that we certainly welcome, that we have not only heard from the president but across all the levels of our government”.

The bilateral investment treaty that has been under negotiations between the two countries would facilitate increased investments in India and create a level playing field for American companies. “We are in the midst of discussion on the bilateral investment treaty to ensure that there is a commitment on both sides to be able to address some of the areas of discrepancy between India’s model BIT and what we see as a high standard investment treaty and we are hopeful and confident that those discussions can lead to the formal launching of negotiations,” Ms Biswal said.

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