Today, Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed their desire to bolster economic ties between the United States and India, creating jobs and improving livelihoods for the citizens of the United States and India. As our economies continue to strengthen and integrate, the goals of the United States and India will be met more effectively by working together. Some of the efforts highlighted today include:
Bilateral Investment: United States and India agreed to resume technical-level negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) this August. Once in force, the BIT will enhance transparency and predictability for investors, increase investment, create new jobs, and boost technology transfer in both countries.
Aviation Cooperation: The two governments signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) on July 18. The BASA advances aviation safety and promotes regulatory efficiencies by creating a framework for cooperation between the FAA and India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This BASA with India, a rapidly growing aviation market, reflects the United States and India’s mutual commitment to the development of a safe and secure global transportation infrastructure.
Under our ongoing U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Airports Authority of India announced their commitment to a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) pilot satellite navigation project at Chennai International Airport. Through the ACP, USTDA will host the third U.S.-India Aviation Partnership Summit in New Delhi in November 2011.
Agriculture Dialogue: Under the Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution, the United States and India seek to support food security in Africa through a triangular cooperation program with Liberia, Malawi, and Kenya. The two governments plan to collaborate on capacity building programs by sending participants from the three African countries to Indian universities and research and technical institutes.
The United States is committed to support India by strengthening farm-to-market linkages to mitigate post-harvest loss of edible food and lower consumer food prices. USTDA hosted a reverse trade mission to the United States for business and government representatives from India May 2011 to learn about modern cold chain technologies and U.S. practices and standards.
Recognizing the importance of scientific and technical cooperation in Earth observations and sciences, the United States and India have implemented a number of projects designed to enhance crop and weather forecasting for agriculture. A “monsoon desk” for sharing numerical model simulations and diagnostics is now up and running at National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). In addition, NOAA scientists visited the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in April 2011. In March, a workshop in New Delhi brought together Indian scientists and engineers and U.S. agencies and resulted in agreements to pursue collaboration on three demonstration projects: 1) Agricultural cropland monitoring and determination of crop water productivity; 2) Applying satellite observations for current season agro-climatological monitoring; and 3) Modeling groundwater and surface water availability in an agricultural area.
Consular Dialogue: The two governments will participate in the first Consular Dialogue on July 25 in Washington, DC, for a full discussion of visa and other consular matters. This dialogue can help facilitate travel between the United States and India and support the exchange of people, information and ideas that will strengthen the foundation of this dynamic bilateral relationship.
Health: The U.S.-India Health Initiative provides an organizing structure for bilateral discussions between the United States and India on health collaboration and program implementation. The Health Initiative consists of four high-level working groups: Strengthening Health Systems and Services; Infectious Diseases; Non-communicable Diseases; and Maternal and Child Health.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are engaged in the establishment of a Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center in New Delhi to support emerging disease detection, pandemic influenza preparedness and response, laboratory containment systems and training and capacity building. CDC and U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) are enhancing the capacity of Indian laboratories for both public health and research through training and technical assistance in laboratory equipment, laboratory design and bio safety. Addition, they highlighted ongoing NIH activities to create collaborative research capacity in India through investigator-initiated grants, support for a non-human primate research center, bilateral Joint Working Groups, targeted workshops and research training activities.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have embarked on implementation of activities under a new Health Partnership Program Agreement, focusing on technical assistance to strengthen India's health system through the public and private sectors. Jointly developed activities reflect principles of President Obama's Global Health Initiative and support objectives of India's national flagship programs on health, including priorities in reproductive, maternal, and child health; HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; and the use of technology and other innovations to increase impact.