By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], June 13 (TN): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday (local time) said that the trajectory of the India-US partnership is unthinkable and filled with promise.
Blinken addressed the US-India Business Council’s India Ideas Summit in Washington D.C. The annual USIBC summit is part of the US Chambers of Commerce and is being conducted ahead of the upcoming state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US on June 22.
Blinken spoke about the unique relationship between the world’s oldest and largest democracies and added that there is still work to be done to advance transparency, promote market access and strengthen the respective democracies to unleash the full potential for the people.
“We know that India and the United States are big, complicated countries. We certainly have work to do to advance transparency, to promote market access, to strengthen our democracies, to unleash the full potential of our people. But, the trajectory of this partnership is unmistakable and it is filled with promise,” Blinken said in his prepared remarks.
Trade between India and the United States reached a record USD 191 billion in 2022, making the US, India’s largest trading partner. Blinken spoke about US companies having invested nearly USD 54 billion in India across the manufacturing and telecommunication sectors.
Indian companies, from IT services to pharmaceuticals have invested over $40 billion in the United States, supporting over 4.25 lakh jobs from California to Georgia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The Secretary of State also underscored the mega order from Tata Group’s Air India for 220 planes from Boeing.
“Just this February, Air India announced a historic purchase of more than 200 Boeing aircraft, which will support an estimated one million plus jobs across 44 of the United States,” Blinken said.
Antony Blinken said that there is a “unique connection” between India and US. He said that the two nations see deep bonds between people who participate in exchange programs and stream shows.
“We see this (India-US) defining the relationship as a unique connection between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, with a special obligation now to demonstrate that our governments can deliver for and empower all of our citizens. We see all of this and the deep bonds between our people who participate in exchange programs, stream shows like having to watch me stop chef. I know there are a few folks in the audience who do that. But, maybe most important here in the United States and Indian American diaspora over a 4 million strong and growing stronger every day,” Blinken said.
While addressing the ‘India Ideas Summit’, he said, “We see the importance of the partnership in a shared commitment to address regional and global challenges promoting health security, working with our Quad partners to build a free, open, secure, prosperous Indo-Pacific where people, goods, and ideas can travel freely and rules are applied fairly. I have witnessed India’s constructive leadership on these issues up close these last two and a half years, and I see it in their ambitious agenda at this year’s G20.”
US State Secretary stated that Indian companies in the US have made investments of over USD 40 billion in IT pharmaceuticals and more and are supporting 425,000 jobs.
Speaking about the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Blinken stated, “We are here almost literally, on the eve of what we believe will be a historic state visit by Prime Minister Modi, one that will further solidify what President Biden has called the defining relationship of the 21st century.”
In his opening remarks, Blinken even expressed condolences to the victims of the train crash in Odisha which claimed the lives of over 200 people.
“I again express our deepest condolences on behalf of the United States of America to the victims of the terrible train crash in Odisha. I had the opportunity to speak with my friend Dr S Jaishankar shortly after the accident, and just to convey to him how much it had resonated here in the United States as we saw the images, and to let him know that we stand with the people of India as they recover from this human tragedy,” Blinken said.
India’s ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that the speed and scale of the transformation of the India-US relationship have been “phenomenal.” While addressing the ‘India Ideas Summit’ organised by US-India Business Council, he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the third Indian leader to be accorded the honour of a state visit by the US President.
Sandhu said that PM Modi is the only Indian leader to address the US Congress twice. At the invitation of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the United States from June 21 to June 24. Indian Americans are eagerly preparing to extend a warm welcome to PM Modi during his state visit to the US. (TN)