Ambassador Sandhu: India-US relations are a two-way street and is very symbiotic


India’s Ambassador to US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Sunday emphasized the journey of two democracies together for the world -75 years of relations and said that India-US relations is a two-way street and this is a very symbiotic relationship.

Speaking at a lunch reception to celebrate the festive season at India House, Washington, he said, “It (India-US relations) is a two-way street and this is a very symbiotic relationship… As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Much of the India that we dream of, lies ahead of us. It is only a journey we have started, we look towards our friends like the US to join us in our journey ahead.”

PM Modi has steered India and US relationship along with US President Joe Biden, who met more than 15 times met – the latest being G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, he said.

Greeting President Biden on his birthday, Sandhu said, “The strong positive trajectory in the last couple of decades – across sectors. Name any, we have a new story to tell.”

He gave examples of strategic partnerships between the two countries in the field of space technology, IT, healthcare, etc y to reinvigorate bilateral ties and enhance cooperation under the motto — “ChaleinSaathSaath: Forward Together We Go”, and “Sajha Prayas, Sab ka Vikas”(Shared Effort, Progress for All) was adopted during the first two summits of Prime Minister Modi and President Obama in September 2014 and January 2015 respectively.

“NASA & ISRO are working on human space flight programme and NISAR which help us monitor implications of climate change… Today, American Tower has more mobile towers in India than in the US. Many US companies have their huge R&D centres in India,” said Sandhu.

Similarly, Indian tech companies are contributing more than $80 billion to the US GDP and more than 600,000 jobs. “Trust that has cemented – we have also become mature enough to sit across, discuss and understand sensitivities,” said the Indian envoy.

Highlighting India’s growth story, Sandhu said that India is a beacon of stability amidst geopolitical uncertainties; an ‘usherer’ of global economic growth; a solution provider to some of our times’ complex challenges, and a consensus builder in times of conflict and rising tensions.

“In 2009, 17 pc of people in India had bank accounts; 15 pc used digital payments; 4 pc had a unique ID document. Today, around 80 pc have bank accounts; 80 pc use digital payments; 99 pc have unique IDs. All these in a country of 1.4 billion people,” said Sandhu.

“From almost negligible numbers a few years back, today we’ve over 77,000 start-ups in India with 108 having unicorn status. India’s talent pool is like no other country’s as 50 pc population is below 25 years – being skilled at a fast pace,” he added.

Sandhu also highlighted the role of the Indian diaspora which played a key role in building the India-US relationship.

“Ultimately people drive this partnership beyond leaders, institutions, and bureaucracy. And in this each of you – the Diaspora plays a critical role. 4 million plus – top professionals in politics, administration, healthcare, space, academics, IT, culture, and 200,000 students. All of you are highly accomplished, contributing to diverse fields in the US and also back to India in your own unique way,” said Sandhu.

Today, the India-US bilateral cooperation is broad-based and multi-sectoral, covering trade and investment, defence and security, education, science and technology, cyber security, high technology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, clean energy, environment, agriculture and health.

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