New Delhi: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that close partnership between India and the United States is central to a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Addressing the U.S.–India Business Council's (USIBC) 46th Annual General Meeting and India Ideas Summit, he said, "The world now looks at India as a reliable and trusted partner and a driving force in the world economy."
He also lauded USIBC for its efforts to build strong India-US business ties for the last 46 years.
Mr Goyal stated, "India-U.S. relationship had developed to a global strategic partnership, based on our convergence on bilateral, regional and global issues and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden have been proactive in deepening our relations."
On PM Modi's visit to the US last month for Quad Leaders' Summit, the Minister termed the first in-person meeting with the President Biden as "extremely fruitful".
Mr Goyal said that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted that supply chains should not be based only on cost but also on trust.
Expressing concern over the rise in trust deficit in post-Covid world, he called for a resilient India-U.S. relationship. Mr Goyal said that India is currently negotiating FTAs (free trade agreements) with nations like Australia, UAE, EU and UK and added that the country has been focusing on strengthening 24 sectors where it has competitive and comparative edge.
Mr Goyal mentioned that India is now the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world.
He also stated that "India had leapfrogged from 'Make in India' to 'Make in India for the world' and the country is strengthening its domestic industry to offer quality with cost-competitiveness."
He also described the U.S. "as a natural ally of India" and said that with a shared vision, the two nations can become true partners.