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Blake On U.S. - India Relations

A vegetable seller, Vijay Kumar, waits for customers in his shop in an upscale INA market, in New Delhi, India (File Photo)

"U.S. engagement with India contributes to stability and security in the U.S., the South Asia region, and the world."

"The United States and India enjoy a strong strategic partnership," said U.S. Assistant Secretary for Central and South Asian Affairs Robert Blake. "U.S. engagement with India contributes to stability and security in the U.S., the South Asia region, and the world."

India's eight percent growth rate makes it the world's second fastest-growing major economy today. It is projected to become the world's third largest economy in the year 2025. The rise of India is in America's best interest, said Assistant Secretary Blake, and its growth has many benefits for the U.S. economy. On his November visit, President Barack Obama announced trade transactions that exceed $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting more than 50,000 U.S. jobs. These deals, said Assistant Secretary Blake, reflect a "growing continuum of mutually beneficial private sector and government business between" India and the United States.

Despite the global economic recession, recently-released goods trade for 2010 show record trade with India. U.S. exports to India rose by 17 percent. U.S. imports from India rose by 40 percent. The United States continues to encourage the Indian government to expand trade and investment opportunities for American businesses.

"India is also among the fastest growing sources of investment into the United States," said Assistant Secretary Blake. "Investment from India already contributes to the growth of the American economy and to the creation of jobs in the United States."

The U.S. has also been cooperating with India on agricultural issues. Both countries are working together to help meet food requirements in Africa and to improve weather and crop forecasting. Bolstering Indian food security would help the entire region feed its growing population and thereby lower global food prices.

The United States and India are increasing their defense ties through exchanges, visits, and joint exercises. From counter-piracy to disaster relief, the U.S. and Indian militaries have much to gain from each other. Indeed, India has purchased more than $4 billion of U.S. defense hardware over the last decade.

The global strategic partnership with India will remain among America's top foreign policy priorities. As President Obama told the Indian Parliament last November, "with India assuming its rightful place in the world, we have an historic opportunity to make the relationship between our two countries a defining partnership of the century ahead."