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Lawmakers, corporate leaders pledge to strengthen India-US relationship



Lawmakers, corporate leaders pledge to strengthen India-US relationship

US-India, US-India flag, US India flag

Chambers later sat down in conversation with Republican Senators, Steve Daines and Dan Sullivan | Photo: Shutterstock

Days after Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India for a third consecutive term, powerful US lawmakers, corporate leaders and senior White House officials pledged to further strengthen the relationship between New Delhi and Washington.

At the annual Leadership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) here, they also applauded the development in India in the last decade.

Henry R Kravis, co-founder and co-executive chairman of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co., said, “India is a terrific country to do business in. There are a lot of opportunities there with 860 million on the Internet and a lot of innovative entrepreneurs.” The USISPF honoured Kravis with its 2024 Global Leadership Award for his unwavering commitment to enhancing the US-India relationship.

Under Kravis’ leadership, KKR has emerged as one of the largest investors in India and has invested over USD 11 billion over the past two decades across sectors, creating thousands of jobs and contributing to the growth of the Indian economy.

“India has long been a key market for KKR due to its impressive growth, dynamic population, and innovative entrepreneurs and business community,” he said. USISPF chairman John Chambers spoke about collaboration and the future of technology.

“AI will be the most fundamental change in the future. AI will disrupt every business and every country. This is the chance for our countries to come together,” he said.

Chambers later sat down in conversation with Republican Senators, Steve Daines and Dan Sullivan.

Senator Daines said, “We are working with the Indian government to reduce tariffs. India is the number one consumer of pulse crops, and Montana is the number one producer. So, there is a natural relationship.

Sullivan said, “The story of India is undertold. We need to get the story out there. From my visits to India, I can see the tremendous innovation there. The vision for the world’s oldest and world’s largest democracy to do much more strategically together.”

Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer spoke with Mastercard executive vice president Tucker Foote. Domestic Policy Advisor to President Biden Neera Tanden spoke with former US envoy to India and USISPF Board Member Tim Roemer.

In a fireside chat, Tanden highlighted the importance of the people-to-people connection and the role of the diaspora in shaping the contours of the US-India strategic partnership.

“I started my career at the Clinton White House. Back then, there were only a handful of Indian-Americans in the Executive Office of the President. Today, I feel fortunate to be one of the many Indian-Americans advising the President,” she said.

“The values that we share between the United States and India in entrepreneurialism, innovation and education and the convergence of these values is what allows so many Indians who come to the US and innovate and become leaders in their chosen fields,” she said.

India’s Deputy Ambassador to the US Sripriya Ranganathan said, “We need to have our companies working closely on the very areas that we have prioritised. That will determine our success in the coming century. In fields like defence, space, communications, and biotech, our companies must see each other as partners of first choice.”

USISPF’s VII Annual Summit was held as US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan visited New Delhi for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) dialogue. During his visit, Sullivan met Prime Minister Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

First Published: Jun 20 2024 | 7:50 AM IST

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