My friend and US President Donald Trump, Respected member of the American delegation, Ladies and gentlemen,
President Trump and his delegation are once again warmly welcomed in India. I am particularly happy that he has come with his family on this trip. This is the fifth meeting between President Trump and me in the last eight months. President Trump’s unprecedented and historical welcome in Motera yesterday will be remembered forever. Yesterday it became clear again that the relationship between America and India is not just between two governments, but people-driven, people-centric. This relationship is in the most important partnership of the 21st century. And so today President Trump and I have decided to take our relationship to the level of Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. President Trump has been an invaluable contribution in bringing relations to this level.
In our discussion today, we have positively considered every important aspect of this partnership – be it defense and security, energy strategic partnership, technology cooperation, global connectivity, trade relations or people to people relations.Increasing defense and security cooperation between India and the US is a very important part of our strategic partnership. India’s defense capacity has increased through collaboration on state-of-the-art defense equipment and platforms. Our defense manufacturers are becoming part of each other’s supply chains. Indian forces are doing most training exercises today with the forces of USA. In the last few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in interoperability between our forces.
Similarly, we are also increasing cooperation to protect our home-lands and fight international crime. Today, the decision on Home-land Security will give further impetus to this cooperation. Today we have decided to increase our efforts to hold terror supporters responsible. President Trump has made fighting the drugs and opioid crisis a priority. Today, we have also agreed on a new mechanism regarding serious problems like Drug trafficking, Narco -terrorism and organized crime. Friends, our Strategic Energy Partnership established shortly before is becoming stronger. And mutual investment in this area has increased. America has become a very important source of India for oil and gas. Our total energy trade has been around 20 billion dollars in the last four years. Be it renewable energy or nuclear energy, our co-operation is getting new energy.
Similarly, Industry 4.0 and other emerging technologies of the 21st century are also setting new positions of India-US partnership, innovation and enterprise on it. The talent of Indian professionals has strengthened the technology leadership of American companies.
India and the United States are committed to openness and fair and balanced trade in the economic sector. Our bilateral trade has witnessed double-digit growth in the last three years, and has also become more balanced. If energy, civil air-crafts, defense and higher education, then in the last four-five years, only these four sectors have contributed about 70 billion dollars to the economic relations of India-US. Much of this has been possible due to President Trump’s policies and decisions. I am confident that this figure will increase significantly in the coming times. As far as bilateral trade is concerned, there have been positive talks between our Commerce Ministers. President Trump and I have agreed today that the understanding that has been reached between our Commerce Ministers, let’s our teams make it legal. We have also agreed to start negotiations for a big trade deal. We hope that it will yield good results in mutual interest. Friends, The cooperation of India and America globally is based on our common democratic values and objectives. This cooperation is particularly important for rule based international order, especially in Indo-Pacific and global commons. Both of us agree on the importance of sustainable and transparent financing in the development of connectivity infrastructure in the world. This mutual understanding of ours is not only in each other, but in the interest of the world.
The most important foundations of this special friendship between India and America are our people-to-people relations. Be it professionals or students, Indian Diaspora has been the biggest contributor to this in the USA. These ambassadors of India are not only contributing to the economy of USA with their talent and hard work. Rather, we are also enriching american society with their democratic values and rich culture. I have requested President Trump to take forward the two sides discussion on the totalisation agreement on social security contribution of our Professionals. It will be in mutual interest.
President Trump’s visit has played a historic role in further strengthening our relationships in all these dimensions. Once again, I heartily thank President Trump for coming to India, and for taking Indo-US relations to a new height.
Disclaimer: PM’s speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of the speech.