By Surekha Vijh
Washington: Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has reiterated that India-US partnership could shape this century.
Speaking at a webinar Monday, the first event hosted online by Washington think tank Hudson Institute since Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, Sandhu said on this July 4th, the United States was celebrating 244 years since independence.
The US and India, world’s oldest and largest democracies, are natural allies. “It is these shared values, democracy, liberty, and equality of opportunity, all under rule of law, which are the foundation of India-US relationship,” he said.
Sandhu pointed out that since 2000, every US president has visited India and every Indian Prime Minister has visited the US. President Donald Trump who visited India in February and PM Narendra Modi who last came to the US last September have brought the two countries still closer. It is in the words of former President Barack Obama, “a defining partnership of the 21st century.”
As major defense partners with $21 billion in defense trade, the two nations support a free and open Indo-Pacific based on a rules-based order, based on ASEAN centrality, Sandhu said. The two believe in freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of disputes under the framework of international law. Sandhu agrees with experts that bilateral strategic partnership has yet to reach
The India-US bilateral trade stands at over $150 billion a year with potential to grow more. Sandhu pointed out that all major US Fortune 500 companies are among the 2,000 US companies that have invested in India, In turn, over 200 Indian companies have invested more than $22 billion in the US economy creating more than 1,25,000 jobs in America.
“Our partnership with the US is critical in translating India’s bold vision for development into a reality,” Sandhu said in conversation with Aparna Pande, director, Hudson Institute’s India Initiative. She thanked the Ambassador for addressing the three broad pegs to the India-US relationship: strategic, economic and people to people.