The 3.5 million Indian-American community has an important role to play in strengthening Indo-US ties, Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh said, underlining that people-to-people contact is a key dimension of the bilateral relationship.
“I think, what gives a real, solid and fundamental basis to the (India-US) relationship is the people-to-people dimension of the relationship,” Singh told members of the Indian American community in Cleveland and those attending Republican National Convention here at a reception hosted in his honor.
The Indian American Forum for Political Education along with the Federation of Indian Associations of Cleveland, Ohio, held a reception July 20, on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention, to honor India’s Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh.
In his speech, Singh highlighted the progress in bilateral relations with India on every front including trade, manufacturing, nuclear energy cooperation in space, climate change, education, and defense technology. Singh also praised the Indian-American community, singling out several individuals.
There are 110,000 Indian- origin doctors in the US, he said, adding that recent statistics show that every seventh patient in the US is seen by an Indian doctor.
Forty per cent of the all hotel rooms in the US are owned and managed by people of Indian-origin, generating USD 13 billion to the US economy, he said.
Not only this, every year about 140,000 Indian students come to the US for higher studies bringing is about USD 4.5 billion to the US economy, he said. “So it’s a huge engagement with US institutions,” Singh said at the reception.
hosted by Indian-American Forum for Political Education headed by Dr Sampat Shivangi,
Referring to the number of meetings he had in Cleveland with the top leadership of the Republican party on the sidelines of its convention, he said this reflects their interest in India-US relationship.
“I believe all of you will have an important role to play in contributing to this. All of you in a sense are permanent Ambassadors here. You have an understanding of the US. You have an understanding of India and Indian society. So based on this understanding and the network that you have you will be in a position to take forward this relationship in different areas,” Singh said.
More than 150 people attended the event, organizers said. The IAFPE has traditionally held such receptions at national conventions over the years, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, president of the organization andan eminent Republican from Mississippi, said.
There is a very positive momentum on India US relationship, in particularly after the recent visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added.
Shivangi gave an account of the work done by IAFPE, one of the oldest Indian-American organizations, toward fostering better India-U.S. relations. It lobbied and testified in the U.S. Congress to pass the Family Reunification Act that helped to bring families of U.S. residents, and for the India- U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation agreement, he pointed out. Earlier, Sujata Lekha welcomed the Ambassador and guests.
Referring to the Republican platform passed by early this week, India-US relationship would strengthen further and reach a new height under the next Republican president. India US relationship has a bipartisan support and would deepen further if the party is voted to power to the White House coming November, he said.
There were as many as 16 Indian American delegates who had pledged to support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the party’s national convention in Cleveland, Ohio, which began on July 18.