Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said economic relations are at the core of the Indo-US strategic partnership, and added that the two countries help shape the innovations of the future and the standards that govern them.

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

Addressing the annual US-India Business Council (USIBC) India Ideas Summit here on Monday, Blinken said, “Our economic ties lie at the heart of our strategic partnership. And under the leadership of President Biden and Prime Minister Modi — and private sector leaders like you — they are getting stronger by the day.” Last year, Blinken added, trade between the two countries reached a record high of US$191 billion, making the US India’s largest trading partner. US companies have invested at least US$54 billion in India – from manufacturing to telecom.

He said Indian companies in the US have invested more than $40 billion — in information technology, pharmaceuticals and more — to support 4,25,000 jobs from California to Georgia.

Last February, Air India announced a landmark purchase of more than 200 Boeing aircraft that will support an estimated 1 million jobs in 44 states, the diplomat said during his speech.

“We’re here ahead of a historic state visit by Prime Minister Modi — a visit that will further solidify what President Biden has called a ‘defining relationship’ for the 21st century,” Blinken said. “We see this privileged relationship in our unique relationship as the world’s oldest and largest democracy, with a special commitment to proving that our governments can deliver and empower all of our citizens.” Blinken said both the US and India are making transformative investments in their countries — through the $1.2 trillion Biden Infrastructure Act and Modi’s 100 trillion rupees infrastructure plan — to make their respective economies more productive and attractive to investors.

“India has joined three pillars of our new economic framework for the Indo-Pacific – a commitment to building more resilient supply chains, seizing clean energy opportunities, and fighting corruption,” he said.

“Together, we help shape the innovations of the future and the standards that govern them — from artificial intelligence to quantum computing,” Blinken said, adding that in January, USIBC hosted a roundtable where the two governments inaugurated a new initiative on emerging technologies.

“We raise and expand the strategic technology partnership between governments, corporations, and academic institutions in the United States and India because we believe that how technology is designed and used should be informed by democratic values ​​and respect for human rights,” he said.

He said that one of the essential matters in this cooperation is diversifying and deepening supply chains with reliable countries while reducing strategic dependencies.

Trade Minister Gina Raimondo and her counterpart, Union Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, recently forged a partnership to make the semiconductor supply chain more resilient.

In Tamil Nadu, the US International Development Finance Corporation has provided US$500 million to help a leading US company build a solar manufacturing facility. The diplomat noted that this project will power nearly 30 million light bulbs in homes, schools and businesses across India, create more than a thousand jobs for Indians and Americans, and turn a key element of the US clean energy supply chain into a close partner.

According to Blinken, the path of the Indo-US partnership is clear and full of promise.
“It’s being written in places like North Carolina, where our increased participation benefits both countries,” he said.

Tar Heel State has become a hub for Indian investment with technology companies such as HCL creating 2,400 jobs and training American high school students for jobs in the IT industry.

Charlotte-based Honeywell, on the other hand, employs 13,000 people from Kolkata to Mumbai, making planes safer and buildings more energy efficient. He said Duke University has established a presence in Bangalore, promoting academic and research exchanges between the people of the two countries.

According to the senior diplomat, a North Carolina entrepreneur from Gujarat remarked—commenting on this explosion in US-India business activity—”This could not have happened 15 years ago.”


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