Bengaluru: “The US remains India’s biggest trading partner and largest export market with trade exploding from approximately $20 billion in 2001 to just over $145 billion in 2019 notwithstanding the pandemic taking a toll on trade,” said US Consul General Judith Ravin.
She was addressing members of the US India Business Council after Karnataka IT Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan opened the India-US Tech Conclave on Wednesday night at the ‘Bengaluru Tech Summit-2021’.
Judith Ravin, participating in the conclave which has been a new initiative under BTS. said the growth in Indo-US economic ties had been extraordinary and the 2021 data indicate a strong rebound. She said if it continues, the countries would be on track to exceed 2019 numbers.
In addition, she said, the US companies continue to be the biggest source of foreign direct investment, fueling continued growth in India.
Ravin said the US-India bilateral relationship continues to expand on diverse fronts, from collaboration on mitigating the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change to space exploration and both the countries’ joint commitment towards a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The US Consul General said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with President Joe Biden in September in Washington, D.C. to confirm collaboration and commitments to the Indo-Pacific Region.
“Since that visit, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman have come to India to continue these important discussions in advancing a range of initiatives,” she said which would go a long way in cementing ties between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Ravin also announced that the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will travel to New Delhi on November 22 to meet with her counterpart, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, and added that both have agreed to take a comprehensive look at ways to expand the bilateral trade relationship.
“When it comes to business, there is no stronger partner to India than the US. We believe that India’s economic strength is not just in India’s interest, but in the interest of the United States, the region, and the world,” she said.
However, particularly from her perspective in South India, the US Consul General said the commercial ties formed between the US and Indian tech companies — big and small — have buoyed our business relationship and supported the recovery in both economies.
“Since my arrival amidst the pandemic just over a year ago, I have witnessed how India’s tech sector has successfully adapted to the lockdowns and Covid-19 protocols as well as led by example in accommodating the health and well-being of their workforce while facilitating a seamless work-from-home operation,” Ravin said.
The US Consul General said these companies at the same time have stepped up to meet the rising demand of software development, data-driven customer service, and back-office support for US firms, ensuring that economies of both the nations remain on track through these difficult times.
“This support comes at a crucial point in our lives, where we now depend more than ever on emerging technologies to virtually attend school, conduct business, and accomplish everyday tasks online, with the click of a mouse,” she said.
Ravin said Bengaluru, as one of the top beneficiaries of US foreign direct investment, has seen the positive impact of quality investments.
“US companies enter foreign markets as true partners and good neighbours. They bring high-paying jobs, advanced technologies, skills, good corporate governance practices, and significant opportunities for Indian Small and Medium Enterprises to integrate with the global economy,” she said.