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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says cooperation between the United States government and the government of India should keep pace with the robust people-to-people and economic ties between the two democracies.
At the U.S.-India Business Council's, "Synergies Summit,” in Washington, D.C., Secretary Clinton noted, "Today our trade between our nations has doubled since 2004 and now exceeds $43 billion; there are over 90,000 Indian students studying in the United States; and the new Fulbright-Nehru program strengthens educational exchanges between India and the United States with both countries acting as full partners in governance and funding."
"As we pursue an enhanced bilateral partnership, we should recognize that compared to other metrics of our cooperation, our official ties are past due for an upgrade," said Secretary Clinton.
Secretary Clinton travels to India in July to discuss security, economic, climate change and cultural issues. Looking ahead to upcoming G8 Summit in Italy, Secretary Clinton said President Barack Obama has made it clear that the United States will not use the global financial crisis as an excuse to implement protectionist trade policies. "We hope India will work with us to create a more open, equitable set of opportunities for trade between our nations," she said.
Secretary Clinton said the United States is fully committed to implementing the landmark U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement, approved in October 2008. The agreement gives India access to international commercial nuclear sources, and provides a framework for economic and technical cooperation between the United States and India.
The U.S., said Secretary Clinton, wants enhanced cooperation with India in the fields of education, women's empowerment and health. She also noted India's expanded role in helping to resolve international security challenges and that the United States should be prepared to adapt the structure of international institutions to India's new responsibilities.
"We see India,” said Secretary Clinton, ”as one of the few key partners worldwide who will help us shape the 21st century.”