The bonhomie between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Modi and the personal chemistry that they have developed would go a long way in further strengthening India-US relations. In fact, India and the US are scripting new bilateral relations and decisions arrived at during this visit will elevate our engagement to a new high.
1. India and US have broken the impasse over the civil nuclear deal. Understanding developed between the two sides will lead to operationalization of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement. This is a huge positive and the biggest takeaway from this visit.
2. Further, both sides have decided to renew the defense framework agreement for the next ten years as well as operationalize Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) with focus on co-development and co-production in India not only for Indian market but also for global market. We hope this will lead to technology transfer from the US to India in the crucial defense sector and give a big boost to Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ program.
3. Another area of cooperation is clean energy which is not just a national priority for India and US but also a personal priority for both our leaders. Indian industry has been working towards advancing the case of adoption of clean energy and we see US extending support to us in this field as well. We hope that both in terms of sharing experience on innovative financing mechanisms as well as cutting edge technologies, US will support India even more after this dialogue.
4. We also saw the two sides commit themselves to renewing talks on the Bilateral Investment Treaty and taking forward the much desired Social Security Agreement.
5. We feel extremely encouraged by these ongoing discussions as these will enhance the role of the US in supporting our national development priorities and be our partner in progress.
6. Our current bilateral trade stands at around US$ 100 billion and the trade target that has been set by two sides is US$ 500 billion. We are sure that the decisions taken by the two sides and the progress made across areas will move us in the direction of strongly enhancing our bilateral trade.
By Dr Jyotsna Suri, FICCI President