Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar (AFP photo/PIB)
India and the US need to tap the "incredible possibilities" they have together and the moment is just right for it, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in his address to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit today.
"The moment has never been more right to tap the incredible possibilities between our two shared countries," said Mr Kerry, who is representing the US, a partner country in the summit. "We can do more together, we must do more together and we must do it faster," he said. "India can help forge an era of peace and growth across Asia." (Track live updates
The remarks of the US Secretary of State assume significance in view of US President Barack Obama's visit to Delhi later this month as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations. The US President has admitted to being "very excited" about the visit.
Mr Kerry, who is paving the way for the visit, said he has been "very taken" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mantra of inclusive development - "the campaign 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas".
Later, PM Modi met Mr Kerry on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the coming visit of President Obama. "Both sides agreed that the visit would add momentum to the India-US strategic partnership. They also noted that issues relating to WTO Trade Facilitation had been satisfactorily resolved," an official statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
"India is looking forward (to the visit) with enthusiasm," said Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.
The visit of the US President and Mr Kerry comes as the United States is trying to repair ties with India that had plunged to a low in early 2014. In November, Delhi and Washington also settled a row over food subsidies that threatened to derail a WTO pact to ease global trade barriers.
Two-way trade between the US and India currently stands at $100 billion - both countries aim to boost the figure to five times that. "We share the Prime Minister's (Narendra Modi's) goal to increase trade five times with India," Mr Kerry said today.