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Will support inclusive global order: Indian PM to Obama
September 30, 2014, 5:13 am

Obama had announced in 2010 that New Delhi-Washington ties would become "one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century”, a promise that is yet to assume concrete shape [PMO, India]

Obama had announced in 2010 that New Delhi-Washington ties would become “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century”, a promise that is yet to assume concrete shape [PMO, India]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met US President Barack Obama in Washington in an informal dinner on Monday night where both leaders discussed ways to reinvigorate Indo-US ties.

“We will support an open and inclusive rules-based global order, in which India assumes greater multilateral responsibility, including in a reformed United Nations Security Council. At the United Nations and beyond, our close coordination will lead to a more secure and just world,” said a joint vision statement released by the Indian Prime Minister’s Office.

Obama had announced in 2010 that New Delhi-Washington ties would become “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century”, a promise that is yet to assume concrete shape, with his administration being engaged in conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine and in attempts to counter the rise of China.

Modi on Monday said New Delhi wants to forge a “reliable and enduring friendship that bolsters security and stability, contributes to the global economy”.

India will collaborate with the US to aid the fight against climate change, claimed Modi.

“Climate change threatens both our countries, and we will join together to mitigate its impact and adapt to our changing environment. We will address the consequences of unchecked pollution through cooperation by our governments, science and academic communities,” he said.

“We will partner to ensure that both countries have affordable, clean, reliable, and diverse sources of energy, including through our efforts to bring American-origin nuclear power technologies to India,” he added.

Modi also gifted Obama a copy of the Hindu holy book, the Gita on Monday.

Modi and Obama will hold bilateral talks on Tuesday as well.

The Indian Prime Minister, earlier on Monday in a meeting with heads of eleven US firms, said he will continue India’s economic liberalization and take measures to boost slowing growth. Black Rock, the world’s largest money manager, will host a global investors meet in India in early 2015, said India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin after Modi’s meet with Black Rock CEO Laurence Fink.

“India is open-minded. We want change. Change that is not one-sided. I am discussing with citizens, industrialists and investors,” said Modi.

“We want to take our economy ahead on the 3 pillars of agriculture, manufacturing and services,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Modi hit back at criticism over India’s blocking of a global trade deal saying that multilateral trade agreements must take into account interests of all stakeholders.

“When we craft agreements on international trade we should accommodate each other’s concerns and interests,” said Modi in New York.

The US Congress on Thursday has ordered a second probe by the US International Trade Commission into India’s “unfair” trade practices, specifically targeting any new policy changes initiated by the new Indian government that was sworn in in May.

India-US trade reached an all-time high of over $63.7 billion in 2013, with a nearly $20 billion balance in favour of India, official figures released for the year disclosed in February this year.

Modi faces strong challenges, including an uphill task of easing trade spats with America ranging from protectionism to patent rights.

In a separate letter to Obama on Thursday, the US Chamber of Commerce and 15 other US business associations has complained about barriers to free trade put in by the Indian government.

“Since taking office, Prime Minister Modi has declared India ‘open for business’ and promised to incentivize investment and ‘give the world a favorable opportunity to trade with and produce in India. Thus far, however, the new Indian government has produced troubling policies of its own. These actions send perplexing and contradictory new signals about India’s role in the global marketplace,” Reuters quoted a letter by the US business associations to Obama.

The Chamber is the biggest lobbying group for US business.

Obama is also likely to press Modi on India’s failure to sign a critical global trade deal at the WTO.

US officials had seen the WTO agreement as a test of Modi’s intent to boost slowing growth, and as a way to revive bilateral relations.

Modi, however, has got a warm reception in the US even though he was barred from the country less than 10 years ago due to riots under his watch in his home state of Gujarat in 2002.

The administration of President George W. Bush denied Modi a visa in 2005 under a 1998 US law barring entry to foreigners who have committed “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

 

TBP

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