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'India is a good news story with so much hope'

Last updated on: June 2, 2010 16:33 IST

'India is a good news story with so much hope'

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Aziz Haniffa in Washington

US Ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer,  while throwing open the 35th anniversary celebrations of the US-India Business Council at the gala reception in the cavernous National Building Museum, told the 500-odd gathering that in a world riddled with conflict and malaise, India is "a good news story with so much hope."

"It is good news today, it has been great news for the past decade, and it will be even better news for the next 50 years as these two countries (India nad the US) - people to people, business to business, university to university - become closer and closer."

He said, "There are rich partnerships in what President (barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh agreed to at the State Dinner in November - new energy opportunities for clean energy in India and jobs (green partnership jobs) in the United States."

Roemer also referred to the "historic new Obama-Singh 21st century Knowledge Initiative" that both leaders also signed in November, "where we will be exchanging faculty members, exchanging technology, exchanging ideas, between our two countries, showing more and more business opportunities."

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Image: US Ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer, addressing a gathering at the 35th anniversary celebrations of USIBC.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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The envoy said, "There will be great opportunities in the weeks and the months ahead to work on export controls review and the exchange of some of the best technology between the United States and India."

He pointed out that this is something President Obama had "designated his entire government to review and something that our businesses are very interested in pursuing and something that Prime Minister Singh is very, very determined to achieve as he has tasked his country to try to grow to some place between 9.5 to 10 per cent per year."

Roemer spoke of the relationship between Washington and New Delhi being "at a historic time with great potential moving forward - in trade, commerce, in industry, on defense sales, on security."

"President Obama and Prime Minister Singh have talked about energy security relationships, intelligence security relationships, business security relationships, and of course, the university relationships," he said, "where there are over 103,000 Indians in American schools - something that we are extremely proud of and that contribution not only to our universities, but to our economy, is robust, important, and significant to our economic growth."

At the outset of his remarks, Roemer said, "I have had the honour of being the United States Ambassador representing 300 million people to a country with 1.2 billion people for the past year."

"And, I remember President Obama when I met him at the White House last summer ...and the President gave me my marching orders and said, "Tim, when you have the opportunity in India to help US businesses to help create jobs in America, to help increase our export opportunities to new countries, especially our friends in India, I want you to take every advantage of that and to work as hard as you can on that endeavour."

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Image: Gala reception at the National Building Museum, Washington, DC.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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Roemer recalled that Obama at his State of the Union speech had said he wanted to double the exports from the United States to the rest of the world in the next five years, "and there are rich and robust opportunities to do that between the United States and India."

Talking about his attendance at the USIBC's anniversary last year "and meeting so many of you, and I had the opportunity to network as you are doing right now. And, I think  I left that evening weighing about 15 pounds heavier with business cards because of all the changes, and all the talk and all the opportunities that takes place at these events."

"I think it's a real salute to, and a real recognition because of the business opportunities between the US and India," he said.

Roemer predicted that the 'United States-India relationship has no limits going forward'.

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Image: Left-right: Francisco Dsouza, Ceo Cognizant, Timothy J Roemer, US Ambassador to India, Terry McGraw III, USIBC Chairman, Chairman, President and CEO McGraw-Hill Companies, Ron Summers, president of the US-India Business Council.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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The new chairman of the USIBC, Terry McGraw, chairman and CEO, McGraw-Hill Companies, who took over from PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, paid rich tributes to Nooyi "for her leadership in the last two years and the vision that she's taken on in helping to get where we wanted to be."

"What a tremendous achievement we've made in a relatively short period of time," he said, and went on to speak of "the tangible results not only in both of our countries in terms of jobs and growth, but also in terms of the strength of the relationship and the dialogue we are having."

McGraw also declared, "I am proud of the fact that the USIBC has been a critical factor in this transformed relationship," between the US and India, particularly in the past decade.

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Image: The new chairman of the USIBC, Terry McGraw.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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The US-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organisation representing America's top companies investing in India, joined by global Indian companies, promoting economic reforms with an aim to deepen trade and strengthen commercial ties.

Celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2010, USIBC was formed in 1975 at the request of the government of the United States and India to involve the private sectors of both countries to enhance investment flows between the two.

Its primary mission is to serve as a direct link between business and government leaders, resulting in increased trade and investment.

The US-India Business Council is the principal interlocutor for industry operating in the U.S. and Indian marketplace, playing a critical role supporting US Government initiatives that include the US-India Economic Dialogue (CEO Forum), the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, US-India Energy Dialogue, the Defense Procurement & Production Group, and the US-India Trade Policy Forum.


Image: Ron Sommers, president, USIBC.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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