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U.S. - India Relations

The United States and India have long been friends and share a commitment to democracy and peace, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher. “But,” he said, “for the first time since India’s independence in 1947, our two governments are working jointly to craft solutions to the defining challenges of our age; sustaining global growth; ending poverty; fighting terror; defeating disease; and strengthening democracy around the world.”

Speaking in Nevada to a convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Assistant Secretary Boucher said that India’s remarkable economic growth of eight to nine percent annually continues to fuel its economic partnership with the U.S. American exports to India were up seventy-two percent in 2007, and two-way trade was up thirty percent. In February, said Mr. Boucher, “we began talks on a Bilateral Investment Treaty that we believe will help to spur business in both directions.” He said dialogues at or near the Cabinet level are taking place aimed at furthering U.S.-India economic relations.

The U.S. and India are working together in conjunction with private businesses and organizations to make farming in India more sustainable and to develop cleaner forms of energy. Educational exchanges are expanding. The U.S. is assisting India’s progress in disease control and health care. Both governments are partnering with medical professionals and health institutes to improve the quality of drugs and health treatment.

Mr. Boucher said the U.S.-India strategic relations has evolved over the last decade, transcending ideology. The U.S. and India conduct joint military exercises, and defense trade between the two democracies has begun to flourish. “We also aim to expand our cooperation through dialogues on East Asia, the Persian Gulf, and Africa,” said Mr. Boucher. He noted that India is playing a very positive role in Afghanistan as a major donor to civilian efforts there.

Assistant Secretary Boucher said the U.S. and India are bound not only by common interests but “share a perspective and a vision for the future.”