Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly emphasized on developing trade and economic relations with the United States in his first-ever in-person meeting with President Joe Biden.
President Biden welcomed Prime Minister Modi to the White House on Friday. The meeting of the two leaders in the Oval Office lasted for more than 90 minutes, instead of the scheduled 60 minutes.
“There was a strong emphasis by the Prime Minister on developing the trade and economic relations,” Shringla told reporters at a news conference here after the meeting on Friday.
It is here that the two leaders felt that they should ask their ministers concerned - Commerce and Industry Minister in the case of India and United States Trade Representative in the case of US - to see how to impart greater dynamism to the trade bilateral relationship, how to more speedily implement some of the decisions that could involve further accelerating the trade ties between the two countries.
There was also a discussion on the TRIPS paper. India appreciated the US decision to support the initiative by India and South Africa, to seek a waiver of IPR at the WTO, so that vaccines could be made more widely available, particularly in the developing world, he said.
During the discussion, Biden commented that he took the decision very early on in his presidency, and that he was committed to that decision.
In a fact sheet issued by the White House, the Biden administration said that under the upcoming Trade Policy Forum, the United States seeks to work with India to address trade concerns and enhance bilateral trade.
The US also looks forward to holding the next meeting of the US-India Commercial Dialogue and CEO Forum to enhance business and commercial ties between the two countries.
As of 2021, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has a portfolio in India valued at over USD 2.5 billion, covering projects across multiple sectors, including renewable energy, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, private equity, housing, and insurance. An additional USD 900 million in new projects are expected over the next fiscal year.
During the meeting, the prime minister envisioned a decade of transformation of partnerships in the US-India relationship articulated by what he called emphasis on tradition, technology, trade, trusteeship and talent, Shringla said.
“Tradition being democratic traditions and values which both countries enjoy. Technology being the most important driving force in the world, but in particular in the US-India relationship.Trade given the strong complementarities between Indian and US markets, increasing bilateral trade was a priority.
“Trusteeship was instrumental in dealing with the emerging global challenges of climate change. Trusteeship as in India, including what was espoused by Mahatma Gandhi himself for the planet was the way that we secure the future is to go, planning for our future generations,” he said.
Talent signifies the people to people link between the two countries, which is manifested by the contributions made by the Indian American community, Shringla said.
(With PTI Inputs)