New Delhi/Washington, Aug 26 (IANS) India and US will hold their second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) here on August 30 and review implementation of various decisions taken during the previous summit as well as identify future areas of cooperation.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker are coming to India next week for the second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in what is likely to be the last major engagement between India and the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama.
External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will co-chair the dialogue on the Indian side along with Kerry and Pritzker.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi that co-chairs will be accompanied by a high-level inter-agency delegation on both sides.
He said that S&CD is the most comprehensive mechanism to discuss and deliberate the entire gamut of cooperation between the two countries.
The decision to elevate the India-US Strategic Dialogue into a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was taken during the visit of President Obama to India in January 2015. The inaugural S&CD was held on September 22, 2015 in Washington.
“The forthcoming S&CD will also review the progress made in the implementation of the various decisions taken in the recent summit held in June 2016 in Washington D.C. and identify possible areas for future cooperation,” said Swarup.
Earlier at a media briefing in Washington on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that strong economic relations between the US and India can create employment opportunities in both the countries and strengthen their economies.
“The President believes that more effective cooperation between the two countries can improve the economy in both of our countries, create jobs and promote economic growth. And I know that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi shares those goals,” he said, adding Obama has found Modi to be an effective interlocutor and partner in pursuing those goals.
“The President is pleased about the progress that we’ve made over the first seven and a half years of his presidency, and we’re going to spend the remaining five months or so here trying to do all we can to advance it even further,” Earnest added.
The White House press secretary also said President Obama has devoted considerable time in strengthening the relationship between the US and India.
“The President has visited India on two occasions, I believe, and each of those trips has been dedicated to strengthening the political relationship between the world’s two largest democracies but also trying to strengthen further the economic ties between our two countries,” he said.
With the US presidential elections coming up in November, there are indications that continuity will prevail in American policy towards India, with latest US opinion polls showing Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton ahead in the race against the Republican Party candidate Donald Trump.