India has emerged as one of the major economic powers in the world and as a testimony to this, the US government is all set to roll out certain landmark policy initiatives to address major infrastructural and energy needs of the Indo-Pacific region where India is seen as one of the anchor countries for greater connectivity and trade. For this purpose, President Trump has lined up his top men- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Rick Perry at US Chambers of Commerce where the first Indo-Pacific Business Forum meeting is going to be hosted.
It seems that the US has recognised the immense potential offered by the Asian countries which now projected to contribute 50 per cent of the world GDP in the coming decades and therefore, make a major impact on the global economy. Nisha Desai Biswal, president of the US India Business Council stated that in order to harness that potential, countries of the Indo-Pacific will need to attract nearly 26 trillion US dollars of capital from the private players and not the government to fund their energy and infrastructure needs. She further stated that the American companies will be a crucial player in both investing the capital needs and building the technology and infrastructure that the region requires.
Speaking about the Business Forum, Desai stated that “It’s an event that brings together business, private sector and many of our partners from the region to have a conversation about how we can boost engagement investment across the Indo-Pacific.”
Biswal spoke particularly highly of India’s role in the scheme of things and how India has emerged as a much more consequential player in Southeast Asia. She added that, “we really see that India is one of the anchor countries in how we bring this whole region into greater connectivity and boost commerce and trade across the region.” She also stated that in many areas, including in the digital economy, India is a leader and a pioneer having a lot of knowledge to share. She also laid stress on how India is a huge market for the Asian countries and that the US wants greater collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Forum will introduce the economic and commercial elements of the US’ whole-of-government Indo-Pacific strategy. It is set to see participation from senior administrative officials, private players and officials representing the Indo-Pacific nations. It seems that the US government was not giving empty threats to the Chinese and is all set to bring India at the centre stage clearly snubbing China. This move comes nine months after Trump administration openly spoke against the Chinese and the “predatory economic policies of an Asian giant” in veiled remark at the Chinese. The Trump administration had also stated that China’s policies threaten the sovereignty of Indo-Pacific nations, which has now emerged as a critical engine of growth.
This is not for the first time that the US has openly accepted India’s rise and the fact that US shares extremely strong ties with India. Since the coming of the new administration, the US has been critical of Chinese hegemony and has supported India’s rise on the global stage. Earlier, a US official had also stated that the use of ‘Indo-Pacific’ over ‘Asia-Pacific’ reflects India’s rise with which the US has strong and growing ties.
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