Highlighting India’s strong democratic institutions, unprecedented demographic growth, economic promise and rising military capabilities, United States of America today said India is poised to play a critical leadership role both regionally and globally.
In his remarks on “Looking East, Looking West: U.S. Support for India’s Regional Leadership,” Assistant Secretary Robert O. for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs says India has much to offer which can benefit the world.
“India’s leadership has powerful implications that extend beyond its immediate neighborhood as a beacon of democracy, stability, and growth.” – Mr. Blake
As India emerges as a regional leader, with rising power comes greater global responsibility and in moving beyond its tradition of non-alignment.
India has established its credentials as a responsible player in the global arena.
The World benefits from India’s growing prominence and influence with its economic growth and leadership in Asia
According to Mr. Blake, India has long been an integral member of the Asia-Pacific region, sharing cultural and historical ties that have laid the foundation for its expanded engagement of today.
With its “Look East” Policy, initiated in 1991, India began to work more closely with its Asian partners to engage the rest of the world.
India has considered its cooperation as a reflection of the belief that India’s future and economic interests are best served by greater integration with East and Southeast Asia.
Today, India is boosting economic ties with its eastern neighbors by expanding regional markets, and increasing both investments and industrial development from Burma to the Philippines.
In addition, India is also forging greater regional security and military cooperation with its neighbors through more intensive engagement with ASEAN and other near neighbors.
From 2011 to 2012, trade between India and the countries of Southeast Asia increased by 37%.
According to Mr. Blake, an India that is well-integrated into the Asia’s economic architecture, that pursues open market policies, and that has diverse and broad-based economic relationships across the East Asia region is not only good for India, but is good for the United States and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
In addition, beyond its own economic benefit, India also realizes that the economic integration enabled by the improvements of connections across Asia, will lead to prosperity that benefits all nations.
Mr. Blake also notes that India’s growing naval capacity and modernization have enabled its strong presence across the Indian and Pacific Oceans and further bolstered its role as a net security provider in the maritime domain.
As a founding member of the international Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, India has shown great leadership in the efforts to confront and combat piracy stemming from Somalia which threatens trade flows to and from Asia.
President Obama: U.S.-India relationship as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”
US and India have taken great strides to realize a stronger ties as both countries address the global issues.
Both countries have established a Strategic Dialogue chaired by the Secretary of State and External Affairs Minister to give strategic direction to the wide range of bilateral dialogues between our two governments.
Both countries also expanded counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing, and law enforcement exchanges that have helped make both of our countries safer, but clear-eyed about the threats that persist.
Both countries also shared vision for economic integration and the promotion of regional stability also extends westward.
The United States and India are both strong supporters of a more economically integrated South and Central Asia, with Afghanistan at its heart called the New Silk Road vision.
In terms of bilateral trade, it has grown by 50% from $66 billion to $93 billion in the last four years and is set to cross $100 billion this year.
Reports say Indian foreign direct investment in the United States increased from $227 million a decade ago to almost $4.9 billion in 2011 which have created and support thousands of U.S. jobs.
US and India’s growing defense trade
According to Mr. Blake, another growing component of US bilateral relationship with India is defense trade.
He indicates that since 2000, sales to India have surpassed $8 billion, representing both an excellent commercial opportunity for U.S. companies but also advancing a vital component of our bilateral security relationship.
US is committed to pursue defense trade cooperation with India, including a whole-of-government effort led by Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to reduce bureaucratic impediments, ease transactions between buyers and sellers, increase cooperative research, and focus on co-production and co-development opportunities.
In addition, US has grown its partnership with India on export controls and non-proliferation.
Both countries have worked closely with their companies to help them move deeper into India’s nuclear commercial markets, and we hope to announce more tangible commercial progress by the next Strategic Dialogue.
US and India colloborate on clean energy
Both countries have increased our collaboration on clean energy through programs such as the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE).
Since its creation, PACE has mobilized over $1.7 billion in renewable energy financing to India and has driven full-spectrum activity from basic research to development and commercialization in solar technology, advanced biofuels, and building efficiency.
India is hosting the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in New Delhi later this month.
Mr. Blake says the CEM offers a great opportunity for cooperation on a range of clean energy technologies.
US and India Stengthen Strategic Ties
Stressing the importance of US-India relationship in the 21st century, the United states has that its boosting its efforts to strengthen its strategic cooperation with India.
US asserts India’s rise and the promise of U.S.-Indian partnership – is one of those rarest of Washington species, especially ten days before a Presidential election, a genuinely bipartisan policy priority.
As India’s recent economic rise has expanded its role and deepened its stake in shaping the international system, the US is counting on India’s rise as a truly global power – one that looks east and west, a strategic partner for economic growth, security, and the provision of public goods.
And as the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity shifts east, the United States is not the only nation emphasizing its role as a resident diplomatic, economic and military power in the Asia-Pacific.
India and the United States have a powerful and shared interest in an Asia-Pacific where economic interdependence drives growth and shared prosperity.
Looking westward, both the United States and India have a strong interest in a peaceful, stable future for Afghanistan.
US and India colloborate on Afghanistan
India and the U.S. share a long-term commitment to pursue sustainable economic growth, strong democratic institutions and an Afghan-led process of peace and reconciliation – commitments reflected in the first United States-India-Afghanistan trilateral dialogue in September.
India has committed more than $2 billion in development assistance to Afghanistan since 2001, building on ties that go back to the early Indus Valley civilizations, Mr. Burns stated.
Even without direct access to India’s growing markets, Afghanistan already sends one quarter of its exports to India.
Extending trade and transit agreements outward to India and Central Asia will allow Afghan traders to return to the marketplaces of Amritsar and Delhi.
Deeper defense and security ties have become another leading indicator of a burgeoning strategic partnership.
US and India on counterterrorism efforts
As India’s military influence grows, US hopes that its partnership can become one of its closest in the region.
The US government is proud of its robust counterterrorism cooperation.
Since 2008, India has bought over $8 billion in U.S. defense equipment, up from effectively zero less than a decade ago. When we complete delivery of India’s $4 billion in C-17 aircraft, the combined fleet will represent the largest air lift capability in the world.
US military services conduct some of their largest joint exercises with India, including over fifty formal engagements in the past year.
The US will continue to seek India’s help in building what Secretary Clinton has called “a global architecture of cooperation.”
U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue
Since Secretary Clinton hosted Minister Krishna in Washington in June for the third U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, the interaction between the two governments has continued to deepen and expand. Strong support across the political spectrum in the United States, as well as in India, gives us reason for continued optimism about the bilateral relationship in the years ahead.
The US considers India a model of democratic governance, tolerance and rule of law, that can play a critical role throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as East Asia, to support the strengthening of democratic institutions, civil society, education, and many other fields.