Partnership with US critical in translating India’s bold vision for development into reality: Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu

The discussion on ‘US-India partnership’ was hosted by Hudson Institute’s director of India Initiative, Aparna Pande, who referred to the Indo-US ties as one between ‘natural allies.’ She asked a series of questions on the three pegs that comprise the partnership: economic, strategic and people to people.

Citing the bilateral trade figure of USD 150 billion, the Indian envoy spoke about how all major US Fortune 500 companies are among the 2,000 American companies that have invested in India. At the same time, Indian companies, numbering over 200, have invested more than USD 22 billion in the US economy. The Indian companies have created more than 1,25,000 jobs in America, he noted.

Similarly, the strong defence partnership is shown not just by the USD 21 billion in trade but the two countries also support a free and open Indo-Pacific based on a rules-based order, based on ASEAN centrality, with freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of disputes under the framework of international law, he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted this partnership, Sandhu said. “Not only are Indian-American and Indian-origin doctors and healthcare professionals at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic but there are three ongoing partnerships in COVID-19 vaccine development between companies and institutions of the two countries,” he said.

Gilead Sciences has entered into an agreement with seven Indian companies to manufacture and distribute Remdesivir, which has been authorised for emergency use against COVID-19, to several other countries in the world, he said.

Sandhu also emphasised the critical role played by the four million-strong Indian-American community along with over 200,000 Indian students and other professionals who work in the United States.