Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India

10/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/06/2021 08:49

Foreign Secretary’s Remarks at the India-IDEAS Summit 2021, US-India Business Council

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman,
Mr. Mark S. Hewitt,
Mr. Myron Brilliant,
Ms. Nisha Biswal,
Mr. Vijay Advani,
Ladies and gentlemen

• I would like to thank the US-India Business Council for organising this virtual interaction as part of the 2021 India IDEAS Summit. I am particularly pleased to join Deputy Secretary Sherman, an experienced colleague and a good friend who is visiting Delhi and Mumbai.

• Since its inception, USIBC has proactively contributed to the India-US bilateral partnership, especially in advancing our economic and commercial ties.

• Our close engagement, at all levels of government and industry, and people to people linkages, has made it easier to develop a synergy of perspectives on emerging regional and global issues.

• With strong bipartisan support in the U.S. and across the political spectrum in India, and a solid foundation of shared democratic values we have built a substantive and robust economic agenda.

• There is an organic growth and momentum in the bilateral relations, given the deep stakes and investments in India-US relations by a multitude of stakeholders on both sides.

• Today, the India-U.S. relationship has a positive impact not only on our respective nations, but also in ensuring a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and a peaceful and prosperous world.

• This was most evident during Prime Minister Modi's recent visit to the U.S. for his first formal interactions with President Biden and Vice President Harris; and the first in-person Quad Leaders' Summit. The visit took place in the context of the evolving regional situation in Afghanistan; continuing Covid-19 pandemic and its widespread impact; and in the run-up to the G20 and COP26 Summits later this year.

• The highlight of PM's successful visit to the US was his excellent meeting with President Biden, where they reviewed the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and several contemporary regional and global issues.

• Prime Minister's meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris was substantive - with focus on emerging and critical technologies, climate, space, COVID pandemic and the healthcare sector.

• During these interactions, there was a keen desire to build on the shared democratic values and increase our collaboration on regional and global issues.

• Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman's visit gave us an excellent opportunity to review the outcomes of PM's visit to the US - and the road ahead.

• On the bilateral front: Defence Policy Group, Economic and Financial Partnership dialogue, Trade Policy Forum, dialogues on counter-terrorism and designations and the 2+2 Ministerial which will take place soon - and will take forward the vision of Prime Minister Modi and President Biden for the India-US relations.

• Given the fast-paced developments in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, India and the U.S. will remain closely engaged both on the future of Afghanistan, and on how we can maintain peace and stability in South Asia, and beyond.

• As you are aware, the Prime Minister had excellent interactions with CEOs of five US based companies and discussed investment opportunities in India. Our consistent approach to ease of doing business, facilitating FDI, and continued economic reform was reiterated by the Prime Minister.

• In the post pandemic period, as India and the U.S. seek to maintain healthy rates of growth - we must work together to enhance our trade and investment and contribute to quick global economic recovery through supply chain resilience and diversity; tapping emerging technologies; working towards global health security; and facilitating clean and green technologies and climate finance for developing and vulnerable countries.

• These contemporary global issues discussed in our Prime Minister's bilateral meetings also flowed into the Quad Leaders' Summit hosted by President Biden. The four Leaders reviewed progress made since their March 2021 Summit, especially with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine partnership.

• At the recent Summit, Prime Minister announced the resumption of export of vaccines by India. Under the Quad Vaccine Initiative India would make available the Janssen vaccine, manufactured in India by Biological-E, to the Indo-Pacific region.

• In the area of climate action, Quad announced a green shipping network and a Clean-Hydrogen Partnership. Our PM proposed a Global Green Hydrogen Alliance.

• The 'Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance, and Use' issued at the summit reflects a shared understanding on responsible, open, high-standards innovation, to guide efforts in region.

• 100 Masters and Doctoral STEM fellowships in US universities, supported by private sector, were announced.

• A Space Cooperation Working Group will be setup to enable peaceful uses of outer space. A Quad Infrastructure Coordination Group will also be set up.

• Our PM also proposed common international travel protocols to enable seamless mobility, which is an essential element of global economic recovery.

• The Summit consolidated our joint efforts and established new areas of cooperation that bolster the positive and constructive agenda of the Quad.

• I thank USIBC for putting this event together. You play an important role of giving shape to aspirations of industry in both India and the U.S., as we adapt to the geopolitical dynamics and new opportunities and challenges that are here.

• It will be our intention to realise the potential of the forward-looking agenda created by Prime Minister Modi and President Biden that does full justice to the comprehensive nature of our bilateral partnership.

• I thank Deputy Secretary Sherman and look forward to working closely with her and her colleagues to build on the momentum from the recent high-level engagement.