Joint Statement on the First India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue released

Sep 24, 2015 10:03 IST

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State John Kerry on 22 September 2015 issued a joint statement on the First India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

It was released in Washington, the USA, after conclusion of first of its kind bilateral dialogue that was joined by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

The purpose of the dialogue was to ramp up bilateral economic exchange to 500 billion US dollars and enhance regional security.

It was the first of its kind dialogue as the element of commerce was added to the bilateral strategic dialogue that is being held annually since 2010.

The major takeaways of the dialogue are

• Launching of a new high-level dialogue between India's Foreign Secretary and the US Deputy Secretary of State on regional and global Issues.
• Reiteration of the USA of their support for India's membership of the four major multilateral export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
• India's greater participation in internet governance. Program to further cooperation on internet and cyber issues.
• Stepping up cooperation in fighting terrorism. Joint declaration on combating terrorism to expand counter terror partnership.
• Close consultation in the run up to Paris Conference on Climate Change.
• Further cooperation in the area of Space to facilitate US satellite components on Indian commercial space launch vehicles.
• The two sides also decided to launch an Ocean Dialogue, aimed at promoting sustainable development of blue economy.  
• The two countries also decided to elevate the Secretary- level trilateral with Japan to a Ministerial-level. As a result, Kerry and Swaraj would meet their Japanese counterpart in New York in the last week of September 2015 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

Comment

The first of its kind dialogue on commerce and strategic issues is an indication of deepening relations between both the countries.

From a modest 5.6 billion US dollars in 1990, the bilateral trade in merchandise goods has increased to 66.9 billion US dollars in 2014 representing an impressive 1094.6 percent growth in a span of 24 years.

Further, both the countries face similar security threats in the form of terrorism originating from the Af-Pak region.

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