Published: February 8, 2018 6:24 am
US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster on Wednesday batted for India’s cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and said it should seize the “strategic opportunity” in terms of trade and investment to become a major hub for US business.
Speaking at an interactive session organised by the American Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Region and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata, Juster said, “Our cooperation in defence and counter-terrorism has been a key pillar of our partnership. US defence companies are already investing in India, producing components for complex defence systems. Our Defence Technology and Trade initiative and the US designation of India as a Major Defence Partner are designed to strengthen our defence cooperation, including opportunities for co-development and co-production. We seek to assist India’s efforts to build up its indigenous defence capabilities, as well as enhance the inter-operability of our two forces as major defence partners in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The US Ambassador to India also said the country has zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism. “We have zero tolerance towards cross-border terrorism and it depends on the two countries (India and Pakistan) to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Juster said India was, at the moment, in the midst of an economic surge as it integrates “more fully into the global economy”.
“In turn, the US trade and investment relationship with India also continues to grow. Bilateral trade has gone from approximately $20 billion in 2001 to $115 billion in 2016. Of course, given the size of our respective markets, there is still plenty of room to expand these numbers. We should easily be able to increase the flow of goods and services in both directions and, in the process, make trade more balanced and reciprocal,” he said.
He added, “Continued reforms and trade liberalisation will also enable Indian products to more readily become part of the global supply chain, thereby accelerating job creation… We saw on display at the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad the critical and positive impact that an enabling environment for innovation has on a nation’s economy. The Summit also highlighted how our two countries and others can work together to promote women’s entrepreneurship.”