India-U.S. ties will define 21st century, says Rajnath Singh

iNDICA News Bureau-

There is a growing convergence in the strategic interests of India and the U.S. with both seeking a rules-based international order that safeguards the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday, April 21.

Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in India in the national capital, Rajnath Singh said both countries share a vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based India-Pacific region.

He said the India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue earlier this month and the conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden preceding the dialogue had created the ground for more ambitious and strategic engagement between the countries.

Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had traveled to Washington, DC, for the dialogue with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Secretary of State Antony Blinken April 11.

Describing the India-U.S. economic ties as one of the defining business relationships of the 21st century, he said bilateral trade had rebounded over the past year after the pandemic, surpassing $113 billion in goods.

“In the context of this increasing trade, the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum discussions to expand bilateral trade, remove market access barriers, and improve ease of business become increasingly important,” the defense minister said.

He said the “defense pillar” of the India-U.S. relationship is strong and growing. “It is built on foundational bilateral agreements, military-to-military engagement, cooperation in the enhancement of defense capabilities and a new emphasis on co-development and co-production,” he said.

“Some of the U.S. companies have expanded their local presence in partnership with Indian companies, producing in India, for India and for the world. However, we believe this is just a beginning,” Rajnath Singh said.

“As we move forward to strengthen our relationship, I would like to emphasize the need to move from a buyer-seller relationship to one of partner nations and business partners,” he added. “I think India and the United States are uniquely poised to leverage each other’s strengths for a win-win model in the coming years.”