US to Send Nuclear Business Mission to India

October 15, 2008
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The United States said Wednesday it would send a mission to India in
December to explore business opportunities following a landmark pact to open
up sales of civilian nuclear technology to the country.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Indian counterpart
Pranab Mukherjee signed the agreement last week that lifted a three-decade
ban on U.S.- Indian civilian nuclear trade imposed after India's first
nuclear test in 1974.

"I'm pleased to announce that the Commerce Department has certified
the U.S.- India Business Council for a civil nuclear trade mission to India
this coming December," Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrrez said.

Council President Ron Somers has projected $150 billion worth of
business between U.S. and Indian companies over the next 30 years following
the deal, which offers India access to U.S. technology and cheap atomic
energy in return for allowing United Nations inspections of some of its
civilian nuclear facilities.

U.S.-India bilateral trade in 2007 was nearly $42 billion, up 55% from
2005, Gutierrez said at a council meeting Wednesday aimed at tapping
business opportunities in India's "clean energy" market.

The council is a key business advocacy group representing 280 of the
largest U.S. companies investing in India.

Gutierrez said that while U.S. companies were eager to contribute to
India's developing nuclear power sector, they required nuclear liability
protection in order to do business.

"India must draft and ratify a domestic law" consistent with the
international Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage,
he said.

India last month wrote a letter of intent to sign up to the
convention, which U.S. businesses want in order to reduce their liability in
the event of a catastrophe.

Gutierrez said India had the potential to be one of the world's
largest clean energy markets as it was projected to overtake China and have
the world's largest population in about two decades.

"Clean energy technologies have moved to the forefront of India's
energy infrastructure and investment opportunities," he said.