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First Meeting of India-U.S Information and Communications Technologies Working Group, December 7-8, 2005

Washington, DC
December 9, 2005 

Recognizing the impact that the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector has on the future of the US-India bilateral economic partnership, key US and Indian government officials met in Washington from December 7-8, 2005 to inaugurate the US-India ICT Working Group. This initiative was launched, as part of the US-India Economic Dialogue, in July 2005 during the visit of Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Co-chaired by the Stat e-Department’s US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy Ambassador David Gross and Additional Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar of the Department of Information Technology of India, the Working Group discussed developments in the Information and Telecommunications sectors in both countries. US participants were from the US Department of State, Department of Commerce, the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Science Foundation, and Indian officials were from the Departments of Information Technology and Telecommunications of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Embassy of India, Washington DC. 

The Working Group focused on discussion of approaches governments can take to create an investment and regulatory environment that can maximize the development of the ICT sector. The dialogue addressed outstanding issues as well as opportunities for collaboration in the areas of universal service, liberalization of the ICT sector, the appropriate government role in the adoption of new technology, and facilitation for cooperation among centres of excellence in the two countries. The participants also discussed future cooperation on enhancing “cyber trust” to facilitate e-commerce and e-governance, complementing the work of the existing bilateral High-Technology Cooperation Group and the Cyber Security Forum. 

The Working Group reviewed the recent World Summit on the Information Society and discussed issues of mutual importance in multilateral organisations such as the International Telecommunication Union. Finally, the Working Group identified the need for more structured collaboration with the private sector, through the creation of public-private sector groups on Telecommunications and Information Technology.