Members of India-US Forum of Parliamentarians head to US

New Delhi, Oct. 4 (ANI): After a successful visit to Germany by members of Indo-German Forum of Parliamentarians in September 2015, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is all set to organize an opportunely timed visit of members of the India-US Forum of Parliamentarians to the United States.

The delegation shall visit Washington D.C and New York from October 4 to 9.

Member of Parliament Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, FICCI’s India-US Forum of Parliamentarians Harshavardhan Neotia, FICCI President Elect Harshavardhan Neotia and FICCI Secretary General Dr. A Didar Singh shall accompany the multi-party MPs delegation which includes Jyotiraditya Scindia, K Kavitha, Arpita Ghosh and Gaurav Gogoi.

India-U.S. relationship is multifaceted and extends well beyond traditional intergovernmental interaction. Three different components of this relationship – people-to people ties, business-to-business relations and government-to-government interaction – have had independent trajectories in the past but may now be converging.

US Ambassador to India, Richard R. Verma, has emphasized that it is time to take the relationship between both sides to the strategic plus level.

The forthcoming visit is an effort in this direction aimed at intensifying the interaction between policy makers and the elected representatives, thus supplementing the formal process.

Highlighting the importance of this visit, Panda stated, “The India-US relationship has unprecedented momentum today and the focus of this delegation’s visit would be to identify ways to strengthen relations across a range of economic and political areas as well as look for innovative solutions and ideas for India’s sustainable development agenda”.

Commenting on the visit, Harshavardhan Neotia 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.”

“The visit of elected representatives for interaction across the board will attempt an understanding of perspectives at the track two level,” he added.

India and the US have a joint strategic vision for regional and global growth. There is an increasing emphasis on regional and global stability and peace.

In addition to cooperation on issues like counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and maritime security, a closer partnership for mutual economic prosperity is a crucial component of this relationship. However, commercial and economic relations have yet to reach their potential.

A. Didar Singh said, “I am pleased that this delegation is visiting at a time when there is such great emphasis on India US relations. 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 confidence shared by Secretary of State Kerry and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the recently concluded First Strategic and Commercial Dialogue,” he added.

The narrative and specifics of substantive cooperative agenda are shaped by increasing convergence of strategic interests and mutual concerns, including in the Indian Ocean Region and the Asia-Pacific.

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

Over the weeklong stay in Washington DC and New York, the delegation will have interactions with US government officials, 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.

A Foreign Policy Leadership Workshop is being organized at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. (ANI)

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