U.S. Welcomes Diaspora Role in India’s Development

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Historically, Indian Americans have a played a key role in defining the relationship between India and the United States. Leaders from both India and the US have emphasized the  contributions of the fast growing and influential Indian American community in the US in bringing India and the US closer than ever before in their histories.

President Barack Obama has said they welcome the role of Indian-Americans sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the development of India. “Prime Minister Modi has called on the Indian diaspora in the United States which is very large and very successful to contribute their talents to India’s progress. “And that’s something that we welcome,” Obama said yesterday after his hour-long meeting with Modi at the UN headquarters here wherein the Prime Minister spoke about his weekend trip to Silicon Valley and how this would help the development of India.

“I was in Silicon Valley over the weekend. I experienced the strength of American innovation and enterprise that provide the foundation of American success. “I also saw the driving force of our relationship — youth, technology and innovation — and the natural partnership of Indians and Americans in advancing human progress,” Modi said.

Referring to his visit to California, Modi informed Obama about the conversations he had relating to startups, renewable energy and how the visit would probably lead to many new technology partnerships between India and U.S. In this context he also referred to the Start Up Konnect event where 40 startups from India had come to basically benefit from the ecosystem that already exists in the Silicon Valley and how India would create a similar ecosystem where startups would eventually scale up to larger entities, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the U.S. to woo American investors, the White House said President Barack Obama would work closely with him to expand economic opportunity for both Americans and Indians. “There are any number of reasons why the President would work closely with his counterpart, Prime Minister Modi,” on strengthening India-U.S. economic ties, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

Modi, who arrived in New York, had his third summit with Obama within a year after meeting investors in New York and tech leaders at Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Tesla among others.

When Obama travelled to India in January, “there was much discussion of the important economic ties between our two countries,” Earnest said in response to a question about the just concluded first India-U.S. strategic and commercial dialogue.

Several American business leaders had also travelled to India at the same time “to engage in discussions with Indian business leaders and leaders in the Indian government to discuss strengthening the ties between our two countries,” he noted.

“The idea here is that by strengthening these ties, we can expand economic opportunity in both of our countries; that the more business that American businesses can do in India, the more economic opportunity that it creates back here in the U.S.,” Earnest said. “There’s also a potential that Indian businesses choosing to invest in the United States could also expand some economic opportunity here as well,” he said. “So there are any number of reasons why the President would work closely with his counterpart, Prime Minister Modi,” Earnest said. Modi “understands these kinds of dynamics and shares the President’s goal of trying to deepen these ties with an eye toward expanding economic opportunity for the citizens in both the United States and India,” he said.

Earnest also reiterated Obama’s support for India’s inclusion in a reformed Security Council, but suggested India “take on additional responsibilities” in international matters by, for instance, playing “a constructive role in the climate talks in Paris.” The spokesperson recalled that during his first trip to India back in 2010, Obama had announced that the U.S. “would be supportive of including India in the United Nations Security Council in the context of reforming essentially the governance structure of the United Nations. That continues to be the position of the United States, and I think it reflects the increasingly important role that we’re seeing India play around the world,” he said.

“And as the world’s largest democracy and as a country whose economic influence is only growing, we would welcome additional opportunities for India to take on additional responsibilities when it comes to contributing to the shared interests of the international community,” Earnest said. “Certainly one way to do that would be for India to play a constructive role in the climate talks in Paris; that as a growing economy, India could make an important statement about the future of our planet by making a serious commitment in the context of those negotiations.” Obama and Modi have had talked about it in the past, Earnest said, “and I would anticipate that they’ll talk about it again in advance of the Paris climate talks.”

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