Replying to a query about relative deterioration in Indo-US business relationship and demands to investigate Indian trade practices, the Prime Minister said that there have been US business concerns but these largely arise out of the slowdown of the Indian economy.

"When Indian economy was growing at the rate of 8 to 9 percent, I think everybody was quite happy even when there were defects in our policies, they were overlooked, and when the economy slows down people try to find fault and excuses," the Prime Minister said.

He said that the US President did not go into detail on the issues. "He did understand our concerns but he also said that it is time that the CEO's forum on both sides sat together to discuss these issues and to find out a meeting ground," the Prime Minister said.

Replying to another query, the Prime Minister said that the two countries reviewed cooperation in civil nuclear cooperation. "There is now an early works agreement between Westinghouse and our NPCIL. At the inter-governmental level, there are no irritants in the implementation," Singh said.

He said that there have been important steps forward in cooperation in knowledge initiatives, education, energy and environment-related issues. "In all these areas, it is an ongoing relationship and we reviewed and we re-committed our two countries to work together to enhance understanding and cooperation," the Prime Minister said.


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