The meeting of the US-India ICT Working Group, which promotes development in the ICT sector for mutual benefit, was held in Washington on January 14-15.

Ambassador Daniel A Sepulveda, coordinator for international communications and information policy at the Department of State, and RS Sharma, secretary of the department of electronics and information technology under India's communications and information technology ministry, led the US and Indian delegations.

The participants agreed to continue discussion of policies that stimulate rapid diffusion and use of ICT products and services and facilitate cross border trade that reduces costs to consumers and businesses.

"In this context, the US side noted the Indian concerns with regard to mobility of skilled Indian professionals, and agreed that the US government will continue to engage on visa issues for skilled professionals. In addition, the Indian side noted the US concerns relating to equipment testing and certification, and agreed to engage on issues relating to equipment testing," an official statement said.

During the two-day meeting, US and Indian government representatives held extensive discussions on ICT and telecommunication policy issues, focusing on accelerating broadband deployment, aligning spectrum policy for the mobile era and exchanging views on internet governance and best practices in ICT and telecommunications regulatory policy.

The joint government-and-industry discussions included panels on promoting manufacturing and investment, IT and telecom policy developments, internet governance, mobility of skilled professionals and other issues related to trade, investment, and the ease of doing business.

US and India plan to hold the next US-India ICT Working Group in India later this year.

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