U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David McCormick said, "Over the past fifteen years, India has emerged as a strong and confident player in the global economy, an important trading partner, a major consumer of global commodities, goods, and services, and an attractive destination for global investment capital." Speaking to a meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in Chennai, India, Mr. McCormick said "throughout this period of remarkable growth, we also witnessed a deepening U.S.-India partnership."
Average growth of nearly seven percent over the past decade has allowed India to raise its Gross Domestic Product per capita by over fifty percent since 2000, creating a large and growing middle class in the process. Trade between the United States and India has continued to expand, reaching over fifty billion dollars in 2007. The United States is India’s largest trading partner.
Cultural ties are also strong, with nearly three million Americans of Indian descent and eighty-thousand Indian students in the United States. The U.S. Consulate in Chennai issues more visas for skilled workers than any other U.S. diplomatic post in the world.
"As India’s presence in global markets expands," said Mr. McCormick, "it is also increasingly called upon to address global challenges." These include climate change, energy security, non-proliferation, global trade, and investment.
The U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group is one of a number of initiatives undertaken by the U.S. and India for trade and economic cooperation on technology issues. Started in 2002, it stimulates high-technology commerce between both nations, promoting investment in the technology sector that has been one of the primary drivers of India’s remarkable economic emergence. The U.S.-India CEO Forum, launched in 2005, is aimed incorporating the advice and experience of American and Indian private sectors into the U.S.-India economic dialogue.
"The bottom line is that we have accomplished much together in the past several years," said Under Secretary McCormick, "yet there is much more we can and should do in the future." Infrastructure investment, financial sector liberalization, bilateral investment, clean [non-polluting] technology, and multilateral trade, he said, are common interests that the U.S. and India should jointly pursue. "By seizing these opportunities," said Mr. McCormick, "India will achieve its well-deserved position of global leadership."