‘India, US share more than buyer-seller relationship’

WASHINGTON:India and the US have decided to move away from a “buyer-seller” relationship to co-development and co-production, Indian envoy Arun K Singh has said, underlining that there is a huge opportunity for bilateral cooperation in various areas including in the economic sector.
The most important fact that provides firm basis to the Indo-US relationship is the “people-to-people interaction,” the Indian Ambassador to the US said.
In an interaction with local Indian-American media in the Silicon Valley last week, Singh said, India has the strongest relationship with the US.
He said the defence cooperation with the US is strong. In the last four years, India has bought about USD 10 billion worth of defence supplies from the US, which is more than from any other country.
“It is the reflection of our relationship but what is new is that the two governments have announced to move away from the buyer-seller relationship” to co-development and co-production, Singh said.
“We have identified six pathfinder projects for co-development and once that is in progress that will further deepen defence cooperation. As far as the joint military exercises of India and the US, it has been said that the largest number of military exercises both India and the US had with any country in the world, is with each other,” the Ambassador said.
He also said that at present, there are more than three million Indian-Americans in the US and with about 110,000 Indian-American doctors; one in every seven patients in the US is being treated by the Indian-American doctors.
While about 100,000 Indian students are pursuing studies in various US universities, he said, and claimed approximately 40 per cent of the hotels in the US are owned or managed by the Indians.
The situation reveals that there is a huge engagement at people-to-people level with the US and it is on this basis that India wants to take forward the relationship with the US, the Ambassador said.
Both India and the US, he said, share democracy, pluralism and rule of law and there is a huge opportunity in different areas of cooperation including in the economic sector.
Referring to India visit of US President Barack Obama in January and US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September, he described this as a clear reflection of progress of the current day relationship between the two countries.
He referred to Obama’s statement that “the Indo-US relationship can be one of the defining partnerships of this century”, and Modi’s statement that India and the US are “natural allies”.
Responding to questions, Singh said, there are no plans for India to open an additional consulate in the US. In addition to the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, India has consulates in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco. (AGENCIES)


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