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King-size trade-off:
Harleys for mangoes
S Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13
As Indian mangoes are just a few days away from shipment to the US, New Delhi has decided to allow Harley Davidson to cruise on Indian roads as trade off for the ‘King of Fruits’, relaxing emission norms for the American luxury bike.

It may not be a sole offer for the Harley Davidson, as commerce minister Kamal Nath said the Indian government has decided to allow “(import of) all 800 cc bikes, which conform to euro III norms.”

“We will soon be issuing a notification on the import of premium bikes,” Nath said after co-chairing the meeting of India-US Trade Policy Forum along with US trade representative Susan Schwab.

The minister also expressed happiness over the US decision to allow export of Indian mangoes saying, “I am happy that American people would now be able to taste Indian mangoes. Their wait is at last over after several years.”

The first export consignment of Indian mangoes for the US is expected to leave later this month.

The Indian mangoes have not been allowed to the US market due to various non-trade barriers and the last hitch of radiation tests is being addressed. A radiation testing facility being set up in Mumbai on a cost-sharing basis is nearing completion.

Meanwhile, both India and the US expressed happiness over this market opening and announced the formation of a private sector advisory group of prominent US and Indian trade experts who will provide strategic recommendations and insights into the US-India Trade Policy Forum.

“The US-India Trade Policy Forum is a critical instrument for advancing bilateral trade and fostering investment. It is our hope that private sector advisory group will infuse our very productive existing dialogue with new ideas to enhance the bilateral trade and investment environment”, Schwab said.

Nath said: “The private sector advisory group being an independent think tank would prove to be a valuable channel for giving the private sector perspective and a new dimension to the ongoing dialogue which will provide fillip to US-India bilateral trade and investments.”

Both sides noted that the focus groups on agriculture, tariff & non-tariff barriers, services, innovations & creativity and investment was having regular meetings and have identified various bilateral trade issues of interest, as also monitoring progress on each of these issues on a regular basis.

While the USA’s exports to India have grown by over 35 per cent in 2005-06, India’s exports to US have also shown a growth of over 26 per cent. With the trend of increased trade volume continuing, India and the US are confident of achieving the objective of doubling India-US Trade in 3 years time, Nath and Schwab said.

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