The India-U.S. relationship had developed to a global strategic partnership, Piyush Goyal said

A close partnership between India and the United States is central to a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal has said.

Describing the US as a natural ally of India, Goyal said on Thursday that with a shared vision, the two nations can become true partners in progress and prosperity of their people.

He was addressing the United States – India Business Council’s (USIBC) 46th Annual General Meeting and India Ideas Summit themed ‘From Recovery to Resurgence: reflecting the growing importance of global economic recovery amidst emerging healthcare issues and technological trends’.

He said that the India-U.S. relationship had developed to a global strategic partnership, based on their convergence on bilateral, regional and global issues.

In this context, he spoke about the "proactive" approach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden in deepening India-US relations.

Referring to PM Modi’s visit to the US last month for the Quad Leaders’ Summit, Goyal said that the first in-person meeting of the two leaders was "extremely fruitful".

Observing that India was recognized as a major defence partner of the US, Goyal also called for multiple dialogues across areas of energy, health, trade and innovation to improve business to business relationships and provide the people of both countries with better services and opportunities.

The India-US partnership had a leadership role to play, he said, adding, “India and US need to leverage our complementary strengths in technology, finance, production and supply and enhance cooperation in Electronic manufacturing, Fintech, Ed-tech, pharma and health, biotechnology, etc”.

Appreciating the USIBC for bringing in ‘Unity, Strength, Inclusion, Boldness & Commitment’ in India-US relationship, he lauded its efforts to act as a bridge to build strong India-US business ties for the last 46 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that supply chains should not be based only on cost but also on trust. He added that India wanted to focus in areas where it has a competitive advantage to become a bigger stakeholder in global value chains

Expressing concern over the increasing trust deficit in the post-Covid world, Goyal called for a resilient India-US relationship.

The Commerce & Industry Minister also said that India was currently negotiating FTAs with like-minded nations like Australia, UAE, EU and UK. He added that India had been focusing on strengthening 24 sectors where it had competitive and comparative edge.

India was working to boost investment, simplify its tax regime, liberalize its FDI policy and strive to encourage invention, innovation, research and development, the minister pointed out.

He pointed out that the world now looked at India as a reliable and trusted partner and a driving force in the world economy.

He said that India was now the third largest Startup Ecosystem in the world.

India was set on the path of ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’, a mantra which would make India even more open and empower it to work with the world nations from a position of strength, he explained.

India had leapfrogged from ‘Make in India’ to ‘Make in India for the world’, Goyal said, adding that India was strengthening its domestic Industry and would offer quality with cost-competitiveness.