Much has been said and done in the intellectual circles pertaining to the Indo – US relations. After the onset of the new government and the rise of Mr.Modi as the face of India the Indo-US relations have seen a major, if not a drastic shift. The presence of a strong leadership at the center definitely has improved the bargaining capacity of India and made it a major stakeholder in the global arena.
So what are the agendas and expectations that come with this visit to US? For the record the first Modi-Obama visit was more so a state visit unlike this, which is a work on progress.
The main agenda that stems up from this visit is the increase of bilateral trade with us up to 5 times .Also keeping in mind that the US is the buyer of Indian services and we have a trade surplus with the US , that can be furthur enhanced to strengthen ties and to improve upon the bargaining capacity of India
Gauging the historical ties one may find that the 1992 leap of the Indian economy and the LPG reforms were possible only because of the US. As in the case of India there has been The backward penetration of the IT sector. The opening up of the markets in 1992 led to India making the IT services for the US which resulted into IT penetration into India as well. So IT as always will be the strategic sector driving Indo-US cooperation.
India is the rising star in the global economy and a major investment destination to many MNCs . Modi’s silicon valley visit is expected to boost the campaign of digital India back home. As the land of start ups and the cradle of technology in the world it can reap many benefits to the Digital India programme. From pitching in new ideas and innovations to attracting investment , modi’s visit to the silicon is a big step towards digitization . Also he may bank upon the growing Indian diaspora in the valley.
It is high time that India looks beyond IT sector and becomes an effective exporter of goods to US . Also since US is so keen on selling arms to India it has formed a country specific arms cell for India in the pentagon. India must effectively utilize this option to not just purchase arms but also to develop its own capacity building into making of arms and ammunition.
What Mr. Modi should aim at is a defense trade and technology initiative.
Mr. Modi’s visit to Tesla is another important facet which clearly shows the agenda of embarking on new horizons in the field of Renewable energy . Tesla has been achieving new breakthroughs in the field of solar energy , especially the making of solar batteries . This is a wonderful opportunity to drive home the technology which will become useful for the smart city initiative.
The Indo- US start up summit is also expected to give a huge boost to the Indian entrepreneurs to get global investment and recognition and also exposure on such a huge scale. But the Indian government would have to keep in mind the ease of doing business index which ranks India fairly low. The trust deficit faced by the investors has to be checked and reduced by removal of policy paralysis and steps towards single window clearances etc.
The whole plethora of indo -us relations has been a package of security, economy and environment and amidst all this the grappling question that Mr. Modi has to deal with is that what would it take him to pitch in US for the permanent UNSC seat to India ?
The cards are on the table and overall its a positive outcome that is expected to come out of this strategic visit. The only winning point remains is India’s bid to a permanent UNSC seat and that too with a VETO!