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Burns At U.S. - India CEO Forum


The United States remains committed to strengthening its strategic partnership with India based on shared interests and values.

The United States remains committed to strengthening its strategic partnership with India based on shared interests and values.

“But common values and interests alone,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the U.S.-India CEO Forum, “will not propel us forward in and of themselves.” This is especially true of the U.S.-India economic relationship. Our long-term partnership with India is enhanced by the full participation of the private sector.

There are a number of specific areas, said Deputy Secretary Burns, where both countries can achieve near-term progress and deliver a solid return on their investment. First, barriers to foreign direct investment should be lowered. The total two-way foreign direct investment between India and the U.S. is nearing $30 billion. That number has the potential to be higher. Two decades ago, our two-way trade was about $8 billion a year. Today, it is moving past $100 billion.

Second, the U.S. and India need to continue transforming their defense relationship. Each country has taken on commitments to pursue joint production and development opportunities. This is a significant step that also promises to increase high-technology trade and research and development collaboration in civilian sectors.

The U.S. and India also need to deliver on the promise of the civil-nuclear agreement. At the Strategic Dialogue in Delhi this June, both governments welcomed the intention of Westinghouse and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India to arrive at a commercial agreement by September – an important step to securing a cleaner energy future.

Finally, said Deputy Secretary Burns, both India and the U.S. must continue our people-to-people contacts. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Indian Americans and Indian citizens are making a profound impact in the United States. The United States looks forward to expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Over the last three decades, India has become an indispensable economic, development, and energy partner for the United States. With input from the private and public sector this strategic partnership can reach its potential.
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