US seeks greater state and city engagement with India

June 22nd, 2012 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 22 (IANS) Saying that “in today’s interdependent global economy, what is good for India is good for America, and vice versa,” a senior US official has advocated greater state and city engagement between the two countries.

Describing such ties as one of the State Department’s focus areas, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Geoffrey Pyatt, Thursday told the Virginia India Business Roundtable that India offered an “incredibly attractive” foreign market for US exports.

Noting that “in India alone, hundreds of millions of new middle class consumers will come online over the next 10-20 years,” he said the State Department was helping broaden the number of US companies that export to India and increasing the number of regions in India to which businesses export.

“The common connecting thread is a realisation that collaboration is essential to our respective success,” he said seeking “a partnership that gives local officials, entrepreneurs and civil society leaders a stake in the outcome.”
India is among the fastest growing investors in the United States, highlighting the mutually beneficial nature of India-US economic relationship, Pyatt said.

As bilateral trade flourishes, US sees software development, hardware manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare industries all thriving, building out a diversified economic base reflecting the Indian economy of tomorrow, directly linked to global markets and vital to US and global economic prosperity, he said.

“Virginia and India have natural synergies across multiple sectors, from information technology to high-end manufacturing,” he said noting Virginia exported nearly $293.7 million in goods to India during 2010 and India is now Virginia’s 15th largest export destination - up from 24th in 2008.

“Similar to what we see in Virginia, think of all the innovative economic growth in Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka and in Tier 2 and 3 cities like Nagpur and Ahmadabad,” Pyatt said.

The US was working to further enhance partnerships between these states and cities and their US counterparts, he said.
“There is perhaps no country in the world with whom we have travelled faster and farther than India over the last ten years,” Pyatt said vowing to continuing to work with local governments “to meet the great promise of the US-India relationship.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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