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US Asks India to Do More to Protect Intellectual Property


U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has told Indian business leaders that their country's economy will not be able to achieve its full potential unless more is done to protect data and intellectual property. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi.

On his first visit to India as commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez called on government leaders in New Delhi to do more to protect patents, other intellectual property and data.

"You have started down that path," he said. "Please do not stop because there is great prosperity down the path of data protection."

Addressing a joint event of the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in India, Gutierrez lamented that nearly three quarters of American software in India is pirated.

The U.S. commerce secretary, on a two-day visit, also called for more action to reduce protectionist barriers to allow overseas financial, telecommunications and retail businesses to enter the booming Indian market.

India's commerce and industry minister, Kamal Nath, also spoke at the event. He said the United States and India, as two democracies, have gone beyond a mere trading relationship and are doing business as friends.

But he issued no public pledge to address the concerns raised by Gutierrez.

The United States is India's largest trading partner. India sends $20 billion worth of goods and services annually to the United States. U.S. exports total $9 billion a year to India.

The trade relationship is forecast to expand with India's economy surging by nearly 10 percent annually and with closer collaboration recently between the two countries in several arenas, including education, defense and nuclear energy.

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