India needs to revitalize its economy to reach the potential as a strategic power across the Asia region and across the globe, a top US official has said.
"For India to be the power and reach the potential as a strategic power across the Asia region, across the globe, its first order of business will be revitalizing its economy," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.
The United States, she said, has a deep interest in partnership with India in that quest and partnering with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in that quest.
"I think that Prime Minister Modi comes in with strong wind at his back from the business community and confidence from the investor community about the plans that he has outlined and the vision that he has outlined for India's growth," she told lawmakers on Thursday.
"We think that the US, that American companies will bring a tremendous amount of technology and support to be able to help that, and we look forward to doing that," she added.
"We also think that as India's economy rises, that India will be increasingly consequential player across the Asia region, and we think that that is aligned with our interests. We have shared goals and objectives, and we'd like to see that not only do we have shared goals and objectives but that we work closely together in achieving those goals because we will have far greater impact across the region and around the world when we align and work together," she told.
Biswal said as India seeks to create a defense manufacturing base and as India seeks to modernize its defense sector, the US is going to play a critical role.
"We seek to deepen that partnership, to look for opportunities for co-development and coproduction in that range because as India's capacity grows, the ability of India to be a force for stability and security across the Asia- Pacific grows as well, and that is something that we very much support," she said.
Responding to questions, Biswal said Indian investment in the US has resulted in over 100,000 jobs in America. "That's a powerful example of the two-way trade and the two-way benefits of this relationship," she said.
"With respect to skills and higher education, this is a big priority for the Modi government. It is an active area of engagement through our higher education dialogue. We're looking at not only how US institutions of higher education, our universities can partner with India, both in terms of Indian students studying in the US as well as opportunities to expand access to education in India," she said.
Assistant Commerce Secretary for Global Markets Arun Kumar said the US is very encouraged by the interests of Indian companies.
"As they go global, they see the US as the best place to invest. They see the US as a place that provides them with a global platform to go to other countries," he said.