Obama’s India Visit: India-US Look to Cooperate on Several Fronts
Nov. 29, 2010 — US President Barack Obama seems to have made a lot of friends in India, if one were to look at the press coverage as well his media-friendly interactions. I am not qualified at all to comment on the political ramifications regarding this trip, and leave it to political experts.
A major highlight of the trip was the joint statement released by the US president and the Indian prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, which promises to expand and strengthen India-US strategic relations.
There is a resolve to intensify the cooperation between the two nations in order to advance technology and innovation; expand mutual prosperity and global economic growth; support sustainable development; and exercise global leadership in support of economic development, open government and democratic values.
On the technology front, President Obama welcomed India's decision to purchase US high-technology defense items, which reflects the two nations' strengthening bilateral defense relations. This will also contribute to creating jobs in the United States.
The two nations have also expressed deep concern about the threat of biological terrorism. Thereby, they have pledged to promote international efforts to ensure the safety and security of biological agents and toxins. There is a pressing need to achieve full implementation of the biological and toxin weapons, which the two nations recognize.
The joint declaration on technology, innovation and energy is interesting. The two leaders agreed to further transform bilateral export control regulations and policies to realize the full potential of the strategic partnership.
The United States will also be removing Indian entities from the US Department of Commerce’s “Entity List” and there will be a re-alignment of India in US export control regulations.
The two leaders are also said to be committed to a strengthened and expanded dialogue on export control issues, through forums such as the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, on aspects of capacity building, sharing of best practices, and outreach with industry.
The two leaders also reiterated their commitment toward developing and building strong India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation through the participation of US nuclear energy firms in India on basis of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions that enable a viable tariff regime for electricity generated. That's excellent news on the nuclear energy front!
Most critically, India and the US have pledged to strengthen their alliance in creating the green economy of the future. Both the nations have undertaken joint R&D efforts and deployment of clean energy resources, such as solar, advanced biofuels, shale gas and smart grids.
President Obama and PM Singh also welcomed the promotion of clean and energy efficient technologies through the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). An agreement has also been put in place to establish a Joint Clean Energy Research Center in India.
US president Obama also unveiled about $10 billion in new contracts for US exports to India during the trip.
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