Indian parliamentarians in US to take ties to ‘strategic plus’ level

Washington, Oct 8 (IANS) A group of Indian parliamentarians is here for track-two dialogue with officials, lawmakers, policy experts and industry members for a deeper understanding of India-US relations aimed at taking it to ‘strategic plus’ level.

The group is led by Baijayant “Jay” Panda (Biju Janata Dal) Chair, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)’s India-US Forum of Parliamentarians. The multi-party delegation includes Jyotiraditya Scindia (Congress), K Kavitha (Telangana Rashtra Samithi), Arpita Ghosh (Trinamool Congress) and Gaurav Gogoi (Congress).

Over their week long stay here and in New York, the delegation will have interactions with US government officials, lawmakers, policy makers, academicians, civil society, industry fora, Indian diaspora and media. The agenda also includes meetings at the World Bank and United Nations headquarters, given India’s growing prominence at multilateral fora.

The group attended a Foreign Policy Leadership Workshop at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

“The India-US relationship has unprecedented momentum today,” Panda told Indian media here Wednesday. “The focus of this delegation is to identify ways to strengthen relations across a range of economic and political areas.”

It would also look for innovative solutions and ideas for India’s sustainable development agenda, he added.

Harshavardhan Neotia,President Elect, FICCI said: “Taking commercial relations to the next level will require a continuous dialogue to address issues of concern to either side related to trade barriers, intellectual property rights, market access and standards.”

A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said: “From a trade relationship being called ‘flat as chapati’, bilateral trade has reached $ 100 billion. There is a promise that this will reach $ 500 billion in the next few years.”

A strong intent to tailor the relationship to harness political synergies and optimise economic complementarities, bilaterally, regionally and globally, permeates India’s approach to its ties with the US today, he said.

The India-US Forum of Parliamentarians (IUFP) was launched on March 27, 2002. It’s one of the 15 parliamentary forums created for meaningful engagement with parliamentarians across the world.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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