On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 the United States Assistant Secretary of State, South & Central Asian Affairs – Nisha Desai Biswal spoke at the Indian Consulate of New York. Consul General Mulay hosted the evening’s talk titled “Vision of India-US Relations in the Coming Years and its Strategic Significance in the Global Context.”
Biswal laid emphasis on the strategic value of defense cooperation between the United States and India which could usher in an era of “co-development and co-production”. She laid out a road map of defense cooperation through shared defense exercises, developing satellite technology, deep sea exploration and a vision of sharing challenges and capabilities. This is especially pertinent given the shift in geo-political power taking place in the South Asia and Asia Pacific at large with both India and US keen to maintain the balance and security in the region.
Biswal also spoke extensively about India’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Her take on India as a technological development laboratory and “the poor of India as not problems to be solved but in fact consumers, participants and problem solvers”; she further elaborated on the need for the two countries to partner and develop a technology and innovation eco-system, citing the California eco-system as a model.
Biswal emphasized growth in Asia as a driver of global growth and the need to develop partnerships not only at an institutional level but also through increased ‘community engagement’ – people to people partnerships. Essentially, Biswal and Mulay highlighted defense cooperation, technology innovation/entrepreneurship and economic growth as the three main areas of focus to look forward to. The optimistic talk and delicious Indian dinner closed out an evening that waits on upcoming fall announcements where India-US strategic partnership will roll out some clear policies and procedures.