The United States of America today refuted the recent narrative in some circles that somehow the U.S.-India relationship has been ‘over sold.’
On his remarks on “The Evolution of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue,” Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Jr.
provided an overview of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, and present why it matters to the people of the two great nations.
“If you believe that US-India relationship is oversold,then you haven’t been paying attention to the great strides we’ve been making over the past few years.” -Mr. Blake
This is a relationship that matters more than ever, and both governments are powerfully committed to meeting that challenge, he noted.
He stresses that the U.S.-India partnership is much more than a quest for “the next big thing” or in diplomatic-speak “the next big deliverable.”
The United States and India have proven year after year that our annual dialogue has produced a widening record of cooperation and dividends, he stressed.
According to Mr. Blake, both countries leverage a whole-of-government approach in order to address global challenges like energy security, global prosperity, women’s empowerment, and health.
He says that under the auspices of the SD, our two governments will have substantive exchanges in more than 20 distinct policy areas this year.
“At the heart of our bilateral relationship are people-to-people links–students, businesses, and tourists along with the three million strong Indian-American communities.” -Mr. Blake
At the Higher Education Dialogue, both countries will celebrate the more than 100,000 Indian students studying in the United States.
Nearly 60 percent of these are studying engineering, math, and computer science–learning the skills that will drive the technological innovations of the next century, he cited.
Both countries’ strategic ties enhanced by U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue have resulted in greater convergence between two great nations on the issues of the time, Mr. Blake noted.
He states that any discussion of their strategic ties must begin with Afghanistan.
He says the United States and India share a commitment to Afghanistan’s stable and prosperous future and have each signed Strategic Partnership Agreements with the Afghan government.
“So, what are our two countries actually doing?” -Mr. Blake
The Indian government has committed more than $2 billion in assistance since 2001, he cited.
He notes that India is helping reconstruct Afghanistan’s Parliament building, equip the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, and train students as farmers, tailors, plumbers, carpenters, and welders.
India also shares US objective to develop the Afghan economy and put it on a more sustainable, private sector led footing to help reduce reliance on aid, he added.
The US government is very supportive of India’s Look East Strategy, and it is working together in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum to build a regional architecture that strengthens regional norms and behaviors, upholds universal rights, and supports the peaceful settlement of disputes.
“In sum, our strategic engagement with India has brought us into much closer strategic convergence on a range of important issues.” -Mr. Blake
Mr. Blake notes that the US government will not always agree and India will maintain its strategic autonomy.
“A second major focus of our dialogue is to enhance economic opportunity for our people.” -Mr. Blake
The two countries markets increasingly are integrated, from the trading floors of the New York and Bombay Stock Exchanges, to high tech offices in Menlo Park and Hyderabad, Mr. Blake cited.
Both nations share an ongoing commitment to stimulate mutual economic growth, to strengthen global economic governance and multilateral financial institutions, and to work toward regional integration and prosperity.
Bilateral trade in goods and services has increased almost five-fold in the last decade, from $18 billion in 2001 to nearly $90 billion in 2011, and is on track to reach $100 billion this year, Mr. Blake reported.
He cites that Foreign Direct Investment into India from the United States reached $27 billion in 2010.
In recent years, Mr. Blake says India has been among the fastest-growing sources of inward investment into the United States, with a total of $3.3 billion in 2010, supporting thousands of new U.S. jobs.
“As the Indian economy continues to open and grow and the global economy improves, we believe our bilateral trade and investment levels will move even higher.” -Mr. Blake
Mr. Blake emphasizes that as countries willing to take responsibility for mobilizing responses to the world’s challenges, the U.S. and India are likely together to influence the course of this new century before them.
On July 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stressed that the relationship between India and the United States will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.
Both the United States and India have a great commitment to their government-to-government relations. Both countries also have an even greater commitment to our people-to-people ones.
The United States is betting on India’s future. It is betting that the opening of India’s markets to the world will produce a more prosperous India and a more prosperous South Asia.
The United States has watched the progress of India with great admiration. India has maintained that democratic foundation while focusing on improving lives, particularly on the poorest in a way that the United States both recognizes and admires.
Both nations are built on the same bedrock beliefs about democracy, pluralism, opportunity, and innovation. Both share common interests like stopping terrorism and spurring balanced and broad-based economic growth that goes deeply into our societies.
The two governments have established a Strategic Dialogue which was announced in 2009. Both countries have already established a new clean energy research and development center that will be putting out the requests for proposals to advance their common goal of clean energy and combat climate change.
India is taking its rightful place in the meeting rooms and conference halls where the world’s most consequential questions are debated and decided.
Both countries can work more productively together on today’s most complex global challenges such as advancing democratic values.
United States has always been a Pacific power because of its very great blessing of geography. And India straddling the waters from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean is, with the United States, a steward of these waterways.