Good afternoon. I am delighted to be back in New Delhi and delighted to have the chance to reaffirm the very high priority that the United States continues to attach to our relationship with India, a relationship which, as President Obama has said, truly is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. It’s a partnership which is founded on shared interests and shared values; a partnership which matters enormously to Americans and to Indians; a partnership that matters enormously to the future of international order and the global economy.
It’s a partnership in which both the United States and India continue to make steady investments. Our economic cooperation is increasing considerably with two-way trade likely to reach 100 billion dollars in the coming year, as well as the prospect for a Bilateral Investment Treaty, which could strengthen investor confidence on the part of both Indians and Americans.
Our defense cooperation is increasing not only in terms of sales which have totaled something like eight billion dollars in the last five or six years and could double in the next couple of years. But also in terms of technology transfers on par with our major allies around the world, our closest partners around the world, possibilities for co-production and co-development, and expanded military exercises.
Our diplomatic consultations continue to deepen on the regions of world, ranging from the Asia Pacific to Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
And the people-to-people ties continue to strengthen, reflected in cooperation ranging from clean energy to education.
I just finished an excellent discussion with the Finance Minister, Mr. Chidambaram. As Secretary Geithner did last week, I welcomed once again the significant economic reform measures recently undertaken by the government which offers a promising pathway for strengthening economic growth in India. In particular, I stressed the importance of measures taken to open up multi-brand retail, which can strengthen the Indian economy in a number of different ways and bring benefits for Indian citizens; for farmers who will have higher revenues and less losses post-harvest; for consumers will have wider choices at lower prices; and for India’s infrastructure which would benefit from a strengthened supply chain.
So, once again, it’s a pleasure to be back in India, and I look forward to do everything I can to strengthen our partnership. Thank you very much.