July 19, 2007

WHO CAN AFFORD TO BE OUTSIDE THAT RELATIONSHIP?:

Growing links for US and India (Xenia Dormandy, July 19, 2007, Boston Globe)

Defense cooperation is booming, with many potential acquisitions on the line. India is modernizing its military, putting out large bids for aircraft, with US companies as some of the front-runners. This past year, the US Navy transferred its decommissioned ship the USS Trenton to the Indian Navy. We are close to deals on large transport aircraft. Also, joint military exercises are expanding, to include the participation of Japan alongside the United States and India.

In science and technology, cooperation continues, whether through a new "green revolution" that is being jump-started with large financial commitments from both nations, or space cooperation recently promoted by the announcement of US instruments being placed on an Indian lunar shuttle. People-to-people links have multiplied: For the last three years, India has sent more students to the United States than any other country including China. At the same time, the number of American students in India has doubled over the past year. More and more Indian entrepreneurs are returning to India after some years in America in a "reverse brain-drain."

Notwithstanding lack of progress on the Doha negotiations, trade and investment between the two countries have also multiplied. While it has not achieved the intended "doubling of bilateral trade in three years" that was announced in March 2006, trade is growing by over 20 percent per year with steady advances as Indian markets open up and tariffs are removed in both countries. Niche market it might be, but after 18 years of disputes, Americans can now buy Indian mangos.

The links keep expanding, whether in counterterrorism where the two countries are working ever more intimately, to disaster relief, pandemics, health, energy, and the environment.


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2007 9:02 PM
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