PM Modi's state visit to further solidify US-India ties: Blinken

10:27 AM Jun 13, 2023 | PTI |

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the trajectory of the Indo-US partnership is ”unmistakable and filled with promise”, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic state visit to the US will further solidify the defining relationship of the 21st century.


Modi has been invited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for an official state visit, which will include a State Dinner on June 22.

Addressing the annual India Ideas Summit of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) here on Monday, Blinken said: ”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. It is being written in places like North Carolina, where our growing engagement is benefiting both our countries,” he said, as he highlighted several projects in the state benefiting both nations. According to the top US diplomat, one North Carolina entrepreneur from Gujarat — commenting on this explosion of US-India commercial activity — observed, ”’This couldn’t have happened 15 years ago’.” Blinken has said economic ties are at the heart of the Indo-US strategic partnership, and under the leadership of President Biden and Prime Minister Modi ”and private sector leaders like you — it is growing stronger by the day.” Blinken added that last year, trade between the two countries reached a record USD 191 billion, making the US the largest trading partner for India. American companies have invested at least USD 54 billion in India — from manufacturing to telecommunications.

In the US, he said, Indian companies have invested over USD 40 billion — in IT, pharmaceuticals and more — supporting 4,25,000 jobs from California to Georgia.

This February, Air India announced the historic purchase of more than 200 Boeing aircraft that will support an estimated one million-plus jobs across 44 states, Blinken said. ”We’re here ahead of a historic state visit by Prime Minister Modi — one that will further solidify what President Biden has called a ‘defining relationship’ of the 21st century,” Blinken said.


”We see this defining relationship in our unique connection as the world’s oldest and largest democracies, with a special obligation to demonstrate that our governments can deliver for and empower all our citizens.” Blinken said both the US and India are making transformative investments in their own countries — through Biden’s USD 1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Modi’s Rs 100-trillion infrastructure plan — to make their respective economies more productive and attractive for investors.

”India has joined three pillars of our new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework — committing to build more resilient supply chains, seize clean energy opportunities and combat corruption,” he said.

”Together, we are helping shape the innovations of the future and the norms governing them — from artificial intelligence to quantum computing,” Blinken said and added that in January, USIBC co-hosted a roundtable where the two governments inaugurated a new Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies.

”We’re elevating and expanding the strategic technology partnership between governments, businesses, and academic institutions in the US and India because we believe how technology is designed and used should be informed by democratic values and respect for human rights,” he said.

Central to that cooperation is diversifying and deepening the supply chains with trusted countries while also reducing strategic dependencies, he said.

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and her counterpart Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal recently established a partnership to make the semiconductor supply chain more resilient.

In Tamil Nadu, the US International Development Finance Corporation provided USD 500 million to help a leading US company build a solar manufacturing facility.

This project will power roughly 30 million light bulbs in homes, schools, and businesses across India, create over a thousand jobs for Indians and Americans, and shift a key component of the US’ clean energy supply chain to a close partner, the top diplomat noted.

On the strength of bilateral ties, Blinken said: ”The road that we’ve travelled over the last 25 years has been quite extraordinary, and I think it’s a testament to the importance that we attach to the relationship that it’s a road that has gone through multiple administrations, Democrat and Republican.

”We continue to move further down the road of strengthening the partnership between our countries,” he added.

He said the people of the two nations share deep bonds, ”but maybe most important here in the United States is an Indian American diaspora over 4 million strong and growing stronger every day.

The US and India’s education systems have produced the leaders of some of our most iconic companies – from Google to Infosys to – not to mention former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, who is now the new president of the World Bank and onetime president of the USIBC, he said.

Indian Americans have created a third of all immigrant-founded startups in the United States.

”Think about that for a minute. That is extraordinarily powerful,” Blinken said.

”We see the importance of the partnership in a shared commitment to addressing regional and global challenges – promoting health security, working with our Quad partners to build a free, open, secure, prosperous Indo-Pacific where people, where goods, where ideas can travel freely and rules are applied fairly,” he said.

Whether it’s investing and inventing new technologies, combating the climate crisis and helping to build more inclusive economies, Blinken said he has tremendous confidence that the rising generation of Indians and the rising generation of Americans will take the bilateral relationship to new heights.

”And in doing that, they will not only benefit our countries, they will benefit the entire world,” he added. He again expressed the deepest condolences of the United States to the victims of the terrible train crash in Odisha’s Balasore which killed more than 280 people.

”I had an opportunity to speak to my friend Foreign Minister Jaishankar when we – just 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.” He praised India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, for his remarkable work in advancing the relationship between the two nations and their people.


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