Indo-US relation will flourish: US Counsel General

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Mumbai, May 15 (UNI) The Indo-US relationship will be further cemented through private investments and cooperation in energy, military and agricultural sectors between governments, US Counsel General Michael Owen predicted.

Speaking at a function organised by East-West Centre Association here yesterday, Mr Owen said that under the agricultural knowledge initiative between the two countries, there is an exchange of information and knowledge between scientists including rise in efficiency and productivity of rural water.

In the energy sector, apart from the nuclear issue, coordinated efforts were also undertaken in alternative energy sources like solar and wind energy, and reduction of greenhouse gasses. Both countries were also on the verge of signing the Commercial Space Launch Agreement (CSLA) which will enable Indian rockets to launch satellites of other nations, he added.

''India and US will also be undertaking a production of military hardware and equipment, but governments should play the role of facilitators and avoid being stumbling blocks,'' Mr underlined.

He pointed out that with Indi's Open Skies policy, travel between the two countries had increased with 85,000 Indian students currently residing in the US.

In 2006, the US Consulate received 125,000 visa applications from Mumbai and western region, which jumped by 81 per cent to 2,26,000 in 2007. A new USD 100 million consulate was being built at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to meet the increase in applications, Mr Owen informed.

Private corporation will be the real harbinger of changes and growth especially in energy and pharmaceutical industries. Indo-US trade which was expected to touch USD 40 Billion in 2008 has already touched USD 45 billion in 2007, Mr Owen added.

He said other corporation areas will be fighting terrorism, global warming and health care. The 21st century will belong to the Global Citizen, who is well travelled and adaptable to different cultures.

UNI ZC GR ATI DS1235

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