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A New Era in U.S.-India Relations

U.S. President Barack Obama, second right and first lady Michelle Obama, left stand with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

2015 has been “a transformative year” in U.S. – India relations, said United States Ambassador to India Richard Verma.

2015 has been “a transformative year” in U.S. – India relations, said United States Ambassador to India Richard Verma. In remarks to the Brookings Institute in Washington, Ambassador Verma reviewed U.S.–India cooperation in three important areas -- defense and strategic ties, economics and trade; and climate change.

A New Era in U.S.-India Relations
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“2015 was a year of many firsts in our security partnership with India,” Ambassador Verma noted.Significant milestones in security cooperation include the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, or DTTI, further integrating U.S. and Indian defense industries; bilateral defense trade that has reached nearly $14 billion, with billions more in the pipeline; and an agreement on a common vision for the security of the Asia-Pacific.

The increase in U.S.–India economic cooperation is impressive, said Ambassador Verma: “In 2005, our two-way trade numbers were around $30 billion.Today, they stand at $104 billion, and we are aiming to get that number up to $500 billion in the near future.”

Cumulative Indian foreign direct investment in the United States totaled $7.8 billion in 2014.U.S. foreign direct investment into India was $28 billion.

“No global challenge will have a more profound impact on future generations than the issue of climate change,” the U.S. Ambassador warned.To meet that challenge, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a constructive meeting during the recent Paris climate conference and announced that the United States, India, and 18 other nations are seeking to double their investment in clean-energy research and development over five years.

This initiative, called Mission Innovation, seeks to ensure continued improvements in energy technology decades down the road.And at the same time, 28 billionaires launched a private-sector component of Mission Innovation, to invest substantial private capital in early-stage technology development in participating countries.

“These clean energy efforts,” Ambassador Verma noted, “build on the already substantial work effort at the Mission to strongly support India’s move to a renewable future and help reach its 175 GW target for renewables – the world’s highest such target.”

Ambassador Verma said the U.S. will continue to work with India to ensure that the relationship continues to be strong and successful in the 21st century.