US begins new dialogue with ‘best friend’ India

23-Sep-2015 #India-US Source: India Inc
The US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, designed to bolster trade between the world's two largest democracies, has been launched in Washington DC just days before the Indian Prime Minister arrives in the country. US Vice-President Joe Biden opened the dialogue at an event hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC): "This in my view is a propitious moment in the US-India relationship. "This relationship will go a long way towards defining the 21st century, and that is not hyperbole. Our goal is to become India's best friend." Trade between India and the US stood at a robust $100 billion last year, but Narendra Modi is hoping to increase this figure fivefold in addition to attracting increased US investment to India. He is set to begin his US visit this week in New York, where he hopes to meet US President Barack Obama ahead of the UN General Assembly. He will then travel to California for meetings with leaders of tech giants Facebook and Google, and electric car maker Tesla. The two sides are optimistic about the prospects for enhanced cooperation, but there are some potential points of contention surrounding tariffs and protection of intellectual property. USIBC chairman Ajay Banga said: "The eyes of history remain fixed on India and the United States as they move closer to ushering in what could be a whole new era. A new era for India. A new era for India-US relations. “It's a new era that could see global trade accelerate and increase with Indian membership in organisations like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum." USIBC also presented its annual Global Leadership Awards to Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media, one of India's largest publicly listed media companies. Indra Nooyi said: "The USIBC plays a critically important role in strengthening the relationship between two great nations. “There are tremendous opportunities ahead to work together in new ways that capitalise on our collective strengths and pave the way to shared prosperity for our countries, our companies and our citizens. PepsiCo is deeply committed to being part of this dialogue."
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