Indo-US relationship ‘most transformational’ in current era: Sandhu

Washington, February 14: The relationship between India and the United States – the two largest democracies of the world – is seen as the most transformational one in the current era, New Delhi’s top envoy to the US has said.

“Today, the US-India relationship is being seen as the most transformational relationship of our times,” India’s new Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, said in his address to a gathering of American business community at a reception hosted in his honour by US India Business Council (USIBC) on Thursday.

“The relationship has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the United States. This is an affirmation of our shared values, of our common commitment to democracy and pluralism,” he said. 

Sandhu said the economic partnership between the two countries had grown from strength to strength over the years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set an ambitious target to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 and the US is a preferred partner in that endeavour, he added.

“Bilateral trade is growing at 10 per cent on a year-to-year basis and has reached USD 160 billion in 2019. Two-way investment between India and US reached USD 60 billion in 2018,” he said.

“More than 2,000 US companies have a presence in India. Over 200 Indian companies have invested USD 18 billion in the US creating more than 100,000 direct jobs,” he added.

Sandhu said that USIBC under its president Nisha Desai Biswal had become a prominent powerhouse in the India-US policy sphere.

“She is a close friend, and true partner for India – one whom I have had the pleasure to have worked closely with from the Hill to Foggy Bottom,” he said. 

Biswal as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia during the Obama Administration played a key role in strengthening India-US relationship. 

“She is also, without a doubt, one of the most recognisable faces of the United States in India,” he said.

“But even as we celebrate the progress we have made, Nisha and I would agree that our task remains unfinished – that the business of this extraordinary partnership between India and the United States is very much a work in progress,” Sandhu said.

Business, industry, academia, think-tanks, civil society, and media all play an important role in building India-US relationship, he noted. 

It is in this context that USIBC is an important player – as a strong bridge-builder, and a force multiplier; but most importantly as a mirror that reflected the expectations of the people, he said.

USIBC’s role remains integral to the success of both governments, the ambassador said.

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