US Ambassador to India Ken Juster on Thursday while participating in India Global Week 2020 said that post COVID-19 lockdown, the way to lock in economic potential between the two countries is by having free trade agreement (FTA).
“As India has come out of the lockdown period, India has made clear decision not to participate in regional agreement with the Chinese and other countries in Asia. Some of that has been heightened by recent disputes on the border area and in my view to lock in economic potential is to do it a free trade agreement (FTA). It insures that we (US) are the largest market for trade and investment. India service company can continue to provide service to US we can work together in healthcare. I do worry at times that we don’t have big enough vision for a trade relationship,” Juster said at the virtual platform.
Indian ambassador to United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu also participated in the interaction and said: “Bilateral trade has been growing at more than 10 per cent annually. Energy and defence are important components. No doubt, the real potential is yet to be reached.”
Sandhu remarked that India and the US work in deepening the economic partnership, as it is an important priority.
“There are challenges and opportunities and together we can leverage the opportunities,” he added.
Ambassador Juster also highlighted about working towards new areas of collaboration, specially in energy sector.
“I think our energy relationship has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 3 years. It has a component of energy security, innovation and border strategic view of energy,” Juster said.
Resonating his thoughts on energy with the US envoy, Sandhu said: “It was decided to elevate energy dialogue to the level of strategic energy partnership. The second round of dialogues will be held shortly and this demonstrates the health of our partnership.”
Both the diplomats touched upon the role of people to people contact between India and US which has forged the relation stronger.
Juster called people to people contact as the ‘secret sauce’ in Indo- US relationship.
“In the US-India, there is a permanency to the friendship between the people and that is part of the secret sauce in the relationship. The number of Indian Americans has been growing exponentially and the impact of Indian Americans on American tech companies has been huge,” he said.
Echoing the similar Sentiment, Sandhu said, “There are over 4 million people of Indian origin in the US. Indian diaspora is a vibrant community and has distinguished itself in all fields. India-US people to people ties are integral to our larger relationship, an important element to our knowledge partnership and the diaspora plays an important role.”
Both the envoys participated in a virtual interaction at India global week 2020.