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'This trip will showcase the contributions Indians make to US tech'

September 23, 2015 10:27 IST

'What has cemented the renewed bilateral commitment is the maturity of the relationship. This has been reflected at the highest levels, with you and President Obama driving the relationship, and at the citizen-to-citizen level.'

US Congressman Ami Bera greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Not to be outdone by their Senate counterparts, who wrote to US President Barack Obama urging him to maintain the momentum of US-India ties when he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on September 28, the US House India Caucus, led by Dr Amerish 'Ami' Bera have written to Modi welcoming him for his second consecutive visit to the US and his first to California.

Dr Bera, California Democrat, and the only Indian American in Congress and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans along with his GOP co-chair George Holding of North Carolina, and 32 other members of the Caucus sent Modi a letter September 22 welcoming him and highlighting the value the Silicon Valley trip would have.

In California, Modi is scheduled to tour several Silicon Valley companies this week, including Facebook, Google and Tesla in addition to have meetings with the CEOs of these companies as well as with several other heavyweights in the technology sphere.

'We look forward to your upcoming trip to California, which marks the first time an Indian head of government has visited the Golden State in 33 years,' the letter said.

'This trip to Silicon Valley will help showcase the exciting contributions Indians and Indian Americans make to the US technology industry, they added, and recalled, 'It was clear that your last trip to the United States provided the momentum needed to refocus the US-India relationship.'

'We are hopeful that your second visit will lead to the continuation and deepening of Indian investment into the US economy, as well as the use of US technological knowledge to drive more development in India.'

The lawmakers hailed Modi's 'leadership,' saying that on his watch, 'our bilateral relationship has been revitalised and India has undergone a domestic transformation while engaging with the world and continuing to serve as a democratic model.'

'Your visit to the United States provides an opportunity to reflect on the effects your leadership has had on the US-India relationship over the last year,' the lawmakers felt.

'Additionally, your decision to open up domestic markets to foreign direct investment has helped grow US investment into India to $28 billion. And at the same time, trade between our countries has reached about $120 billion.'

'What has cemented the renewed bilateral commitment is the maturity of the relationship,' the lawmakers said. 'This has been reflected at the highest levels, with you and President Obama driving the relationship, and at the citizen-to-citizen level.'

Consequently, they argued, 'The United States has greatly benefited from the contribution of millions of Indians and Indian Americans living here,' and predicted, 'These people-to-people relationships will ensure that our partnership will only flourish for years to come.'

Among the lawmakers who signed the welcoming letter are US Congressmen Ed Royce, California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, New York Democrat and the ranking member of this panel, Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat and founder and erstwhile chair and then co-chair of the India Caucus, Dr Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat and another former co-chair of the Caucus, who holds the record for trips to India numbering over two dozen, Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat and the first and only Hindu American member of Congress, Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican and Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican and also former India Caucus co-chairs respectively.

IMAGE: US Congressman Ami Bera greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC