“Chalenge Saath Saath” US and India re-discover synergies in bi lateral collaboration
By Rizwan Sayed
Consul General Thomas L. Vajda meets the press in Pune
Pune (Feb 05, 2015): Describing the US President’s recent visit to India as a Historic and successful one, Consul General Thomas L. Vajda spoke with Pune media regarding some of the key elements of the new and evolving Indo-US relationship. We are hopeful to build co-operation and collaboration between the two democracy symbols in areas of civil nuclear co-operation, bi-lateral trade, education, healthcare, defense & counter terrorism, and social initiatives added Vajda.
“US can be India’s best partner” says Vajda. He further added that, US is committed to take trade and investment relationship beyond the current $100 billion per year to $500 billion in the coming years. He emphasized that the economic and commercial relations are the key drivers of bilateral co-operation between US and India. Another announcement which the Consul General made is about the US govt signing a MOU with the representatives of the respective state governments of India to develop three smart cities. These are Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad.
Speaking on civil nuclear cooperation Thomas Vajda stated that it opened up a lot of avenues for collaborations giving access to US companies to help India meet its energy needs by building power plants. The vision has some primary impediment like nuclear liability law, but the breakthrough was possible as officials from both the countries had worked through points that had impeded greater civil-nuclear cooperation.
Further, commenting on the bilateral defense arrangement, US-India have committed to co-produce and co-develop weapon systems in India using American companies to meet national security needs. There will also be military ties through military exercises, exchange of military officers at different military schools and focus on cooperation around counter terrorism and security in Asia-Pacific region. He also added that “there is an agreement between the two countries to develop four weapon systems.”
The Consul General was also very expressive about the opportunities in education. He added, “ US is making an effort to help Indians who want to study in US, by sending groups to create awareness about US education and Visa process”. The US Consul in Mumbai had also restructured itself to service the needs of the students.
In healthcare domain US is helping India with its USAID mission providing resources and expertise in its Swachh Bharat campaign in order to improve things on the water and sanitation fronts. American university hospitals are closely working with Indian companies in terms of healthcare technologies and hospital managements.
When asked about the investments by US companies in Maharashtra, Vajda stated that Maharashtra, and Pune in particular are well positioned to continue in growth and offer opportunities for US investments.”
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