A strong, prosperous India is very much in the interest of the United States. “A strong India will play a critical role in the coming decades in shaping this Asian landscape, and our partnership with India will play an increasingly important role in that context,” said Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal. “But if India is to achieve its economic and strategic potential, it must grapple with the myriad economic and governance challenges it is facing, including slow growth, energy shortages, and flagging foreign investment.”
That is not news to India’s new government. Not long after taking office, new Prime Minister Narendra Modi identified key priorities, including improving infrastructure and boosting domestic manufacturing, energy security, and attracting greater foreign investment. “In all the areas that the Modi government has identified as priorities, we think the United States . . . . can play an important role in helping address the challenges India faces,” said Assistant Secretary Biswal. “We are confident we can work in a strong and collaborative partnership with the Modi government to grow our economic and strategic relations with India in a way that benefits both countries and both economies.”
Already, the two countries work together on many levels. Last year, U.S. and India traded nearly 100 billion dollars’ worth of goods and services. We hope to increase that five-fold, which will improve two-way investment flows and other economic objectives.
We are expanding cooperation on nuclear energy, electrical grid and power generation, energy efficiency, and oil and gas exploration.
And of course, security engagement is central to the U.S.-India partnership, particularly counter terrorism. We also hope to boost regional cooperation and connectivity by improving regional transportation, energy, and trade.
“The Obama Administration firmly believes that if the United States and India can continue to grow our trade and investment relationship and further enhance our already strong strategic partnership, we and the world will be better off,” said Assistant Secretary Biswal. “By re-energizing the U.S.-India relationship now, we are making future generations of Americans and Indians safer and more prosperous, and we are helping strengthen stability in Asia and around the world.”