Washington: Noting that the India-US relationship has developed “exponentially” in the last few years, Indian ambassador to the US has said the ties with America is important to meet the development aspirations of India, as well as enhancing global peace and security.
“The India-US relationship, in the last few years, has developed exponentially. It is a very important relationship for India certainly, which we feel is essential for meeting our development aspirations, as well as for enhancing global peace and security, and meeting some of the common global challenges that we face,” ambassador Meera Shankar said.
The Indian ambassador made these remarks during a conversation on “Natural Allies - US-India Relations in the Obama Era”, organized by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington-based think tank.
“It’s our effort to try to take this relationship to the next level, building on the gains which were made and on the strong bipartisan support within the United States for building this relationship, as well as broad political support in the Indian polity for building this relationship,” Shankar said.
She said Indo-US relationship now stands on its own merits and, from India’s point of view, has to be viewed as such. There is an economic element which has been growing substantially.
Trade has doubled in the last four years, she observed.
Shankar said investment flows now go in both directions, with Indian investment in the United States being larger than US foreign direct investment in India in recent years.
Talking about the technology collaborations between the two countries, Shankar said, “the US is the largest source of technology collaborations for Indian companies who are seeking to move up the value chain.”
So there is this whole economic and business dimension. There are shared security challenges for instance: terrorism, proliferation. Or there are shared global challenges of food security, energy security.
“There are a range of areas where India and the US work together. This is also underpinned by a very lively and vibrant relationship at the level of the people,” she added.
Shankar also said there are 92,000 Indian students in the US today. There are 2.7 million Indian-Americans in America and it is a community, which has become very much more active and confident in recent years.
“All this builds the relationship in a very substantive way,” she added.