India-US relationship to touch new heights in the days ahead under Biden-Harris administration: Ambassador Richard Rahul Verma

New Delhi: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) today convened a virtual session with Ambassador Richard Rahul Verma on India-US strategic partnership, at its 93rd Annual Convention. The theme for the Annual Convention this year is ‘Inspired India’.

India-US relations have grown steadily over the years. There is bipartisan support for strong India-US ties in the US. It might be an often-repeated phrase, but it is true, India & US are ‘natural partners’. The relationship is based on shared democratic values and increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

During a fireside chat, Ambassador Richard Rahul Verma said, “I had the privilege of working with President elect Joe Biden for 21 years and I am optimistic that India-US relationship will touch new heights in the days ahead under his leadership and Vice President-elect Ms Kamala Harris. They are great leaders and fully aware of the criticality of this partnership.”

Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI & Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “There is a tremendous potential of what India & US can achieve together, not just good for each other but for the entire world.”

Today India and US engage in numerous strategic consultations, wide-ranging defence, counterterrorism, homeland security, cybersecurity, and intelligence cooperation, as well as numerous activities in energy, education, science and technology, healthcare, and culture.

No other country except India has been designated as major defense partner of the United States. In terms of opportunities, energy sector has the huge potential, high tech, innovation & technology transfer, and lots of different areas. On the healthcare front, the partnership is critically important for COVID 19 vaccine development. There has been a growing strategic convergence in the Indo-Pacific region too.

Even as our relationship is achieving new heights, there are issues of market access, tariffs, e-commerce policy or data localization requirements for the US. For India, section-232 tariffs, H1B visa policy, GSP withdrawal and totalization agreement are of importance. To solve these, there is need for broader dialogue and comprehensive solution. There is strong need to connect strategic and the economic ties to further develop the trade relations and design a structure for BIT, FTA & big commercial agreement.