New Delhi– America’s recent support to India in a move to maintain balance in geopolitics, should have more economic content to ensure a sustained and positive policy architecture in the Asia Pacific region, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) said on Monday.

“The recent unequivocal India outreach stand of the United States to maintain balance in the geo-politics should have more economic thrust and content to ensure sustained positive policy architecture in the Asia Pacific, the IACC said in a statement here.

“The bonhomie demonstrated by President Trump by celebrating Diwali in the White House, followed up by the blunt statement of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that India is the strongest and most reliable ally in the Asia Pacific region to purge terrorism and disruptive forces from the region are pointers to a new and emerging partnership between India and the US,” it said.

“It is important to give a strong economic heft and gravitas to these developments to make it sustainable and enduring,” said IACC President Vasant Subramanyan.

Describing the US and India as “two bookends of stability on either side of the globe,” Tillerson last week proposed that both countries work together in the Indo-Pacific region to counter the disruptive force of China.

Speaking in Washington, Tillerson contrasted the manner of China’s emergence with that of India.

“It (China) has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the international, rules-based order – even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations’ sovereignty,” he said.

Subramanyan noted that four areas required the immediate attention of both countries. These are “infrastructure investment, manufacturing, technology and skill development, besides steps for augmenting bilateral trade”.

“Pitching for a more positive involvement of India initiated International North-South Trade Corridor (INSTC), which would connect India, Iran, and Russia and Central Asia, IACC felt that this ambitious project should be backed more specifically and strongly by the US both in terms of geo-political and economic considerations.”

According to IACC, China has taken a calibrated and diplomatic stance in its response to the evolving relationship between India and the US by describing it as a positive development.

“Some of the Chinese owned or controlled corporations are investing in India in various sectors. Some of these companies are operating out from the US and they stand to gain immensely from augmenting economic partnership between India and the US,” the statement said.

“IACC suggests that the US can respond to the initiative of the Indian administration to import crude oil from the US first time after 40 years as a sequel to the clarion call by the Trump Administration to buy the US products globally,” the statement said.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced earlier this month that two shipments of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil from US had arrived in India, recently. He said the three Indian public sector refineries have already placed a cumulative order of 7.85 million barrels from the US. In addition, a private sector refiner has also placed an order of 2 million barrels from America.

The US has also become the top exporter of defence equipment to India, the statement added. (IANS)

IndUS Business Journal

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