Both the ministers reviewed bilateral relations.
Sharma informed Fronman about the positive investment climate and looked forward to greater US participation in manufacturing and Research and Development sectors.
Sharma informed that both India and US are constructively engaged for positive and balanced outcome from the Bali Ministerial by addressing issues of Trade Facilitation and food security.
They also discussed the future roadmap for the Doha Development Agreement negotiations for successful conclusion.
Froman impressed upon putting in place rule based multilateral trade agreement which will be both balanced and ambitious.
Earlier, at the 2nd Informal East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers' Meeting, Sharma, along with other ministers, took into account the progress made since the last summit held in Pnom Penh.
The ministers highlighted the need for having such annual meetings which contributes substantially to greater economic integration as envisaged in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
They deliberated on the continuing economic downturn affecting the export oriented economies of Asia.
The issues suggested for the discussion in the 8th EAS included food and energy security, forest and fisheries, climate change and disaster management, pandemic diseases, innovations and Intellectual Property Rights.
The need for a tangible outcome in the WTO Ministerial in Bali in December, 2013 was emphasized by all the speakers as it would prove to be an important stepping stone towards a successful conclusion of the Doha round of the negotiations.
Sharma in his interventions emphasized on an early harvest to sustain faith in the multilateral trading system.
"India had constructively engaged in these negotiations and is expecting a balanced outcome in the early harvest package including our concerns on public stock holding of food grains," said Sharma.
He also participated in the AEM-India Consultations.
In the meeting, the ministers took note of completion of legal scrubbing of India-ASEAN Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment and endorsed the texts of these agreements for the required steps to be taken by the participating countries for the implementation of the Agreements.
It brought to the completion the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement process between India and ASEAN.
In the meeting, Sharma informed the ASEAN Ministers about the steps taken by India for elevating India-ASEAN relations to a strategic partnership as decided during the Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in December, 2012.
This included the launching of ASEAN-India Centre in New Delhi and the proposed ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre.
A Concept Note prepared by India on the ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre was circulated seeking comments of the ASEAN side.
Sharma also mentioned about the initiative taken by India in completing the first phase of the Trilateral Highway connecting India with Thailand through Myanmar.
In this regard, realizing the importance of physical connectivity between India and ASEAN, Sharma called for strengthening of soft connectivity between the two sides and proposed constitution of Joint Working Groups to discuss issues concerning operationalising physical connectivity, including cooperation in transport, customs and other related departments to facilitate flow of goods and services between the two sides.
The meeting ended with the two sides reaffirming their commitment towards achieving the target of USD 100 billion bilateral trade by the year 2015.
--IBNS (Posted on 22-08-2013)