Sharma thanks USTR, WTO and IMF chiefs for supporting India

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Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has written farewell letters to United States Trade Representative and chiefs of WTO and IMF thanking them for extending support to India at multi-lateral forums.

"As I approach the end of my tenure and prepare to demit office by the end of this week, I am writing to convey my deep appreciation for your support and understanding in pursuing our shared vision of a strong economic engagement in a spirit of true partnership," Sharma's letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Mike Froman said.

He has written similar letters to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde, World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Roberto Azevedo and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

"It is a matter of great satisfaction that over the last 5 years, our bilateral trade in goods and services crossed USD 100 billion even in the backdrop of a weak global economic climate. Indian companies have invested more than USD 33 billion in FDI in US which has contributed immensely to job creation," he said in letter to Froman.

Sharma said that India has liberalised its FDI policy which is of interest to American companies also.

"I must state that we also need to develop a better perspective of India's Intellectual Property regime both in terms of prevailing policy and its enforcement," the letter said.

The Obama administration has been strongly criticising India's investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceutical and solar sectors.

To Pritzker, Sharma said that the coming years will see an intensification of commercial engagements in a spirit of mutual understanding and partnership.

In his letter to Azevedo, Sharma said, "the Bali Conference is indeed a landmark in the short history of the WTO and, I hope, a turning point in the Doha Round...I am sure that while pursuing the post-Bali agenda ... Issues of the Doha Round will remain central in the spirit of the development dimension of the Round to deliver tangible outcomes."

Sharma, in his letter to Lagarde, said, "In the coming years, there will be a greater demand for democratisation of decision making structures of international financial institutions including the IMF."

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