Engaging India at state level among top US priorities
By Arun Kumar, Washington, March 23 : One of America's top priorities in building a partnership with India is to expand state- and local-level engagement, according to a senior US official as Indian companies are adding tremendous value to local US economies.
The booming India-US trade relationship already is delivering substantial benefits to the American people, said Robert Blake, assistant secretary of state for South Asia in an address at the University of California, Berkeley Institute of International Studies, Thursday.
Noting that India is also among the fastest growing investors in the US, he said: "Indian companies operating in the United States are adding tremendous value to the local economies in which they operate, the most tangible effects of which are felt at the state and county levels."
"That's why one of our top priorities in building the partnership with India is to expand state- and local-level engagement," he said, noting this year, at least eight American governors and city mayors plan to visit India with trade and investment delegations.
"Our state officials increasingly understand that, as the fastest-growing market for US exports, India provides significant opportunities to drive US job growth and bring economic opportunity to the American workforce," Blake said.
India-US partnership has achieved much, but it holds the promise for even more with the next generation of students, educators, businesspeople, and artists build new collaborations, he said.
Berkeley is the perfect venue for a discussion on the "US-India Partnership in the Asian Century", Blake said, as "you understand first-hand how partnerships between American and Indian entrepreneurs can spark innovation, foster prosperity, and contribute to a vibrant, dynamic America".
Indian Americans are responsible for founding about a seventh of all of Silicon Valley's startups, Blake noted. "And their contributions are seen not just in Silicon Valley, nor are they limited to IT."
"Indians start more companies than any other immigrant group in California and also lead all immigrant groups in the number of companies founded nation-wide in the industries of bioscience, environment, defence and aerospace," he said.
Giving an overview of US relationship with India, he said the education collaboration that is building a vast web of people-to-people ties will carry our relationship through the next generation.
"There is perhaps no nation in the world with which we have travelled faster and farther over the last 15 years than India," Blake said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)