New US Consul General praises India for embracing diversity

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Mumbai, Sep 5 (UNI) New US Consul General Paul Folmsbee has said India continues to embrace diversity very much like US despite being driven by innovation and technology.

Addressing the All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Centre (WTC) here recently, he said the two countries would continue to pursue joint research in energy, environmental challenges, healthcare and agriculture sectors.

''I would especially highlight alternative fuel and energy sources and new technology. We are going to see greater alternatives in the coming years. It is exciting to think about that,'' he said.

''Military and security co-operation to safeguard our people and the maritime traffic in this region has expanded,'' he added.

Mr Folmsbee said Indian and American scientists and healthcare professionals continue to join hands to promote public health, eradicate diseases, raise awareness of health threats and educate citizens in risk reduction. People-to-people exchanges have grown at a record pace. ''We are now seeing Indian Americans excel in many fields from politics to medicine to business.'' He said there are 88,000 Indian students in the United States right now and the number is steadily increasing. This shall also improve cultural ties.

Mr Folmsbee said many of the challenges that the world faces today could not be solved by any one country acting in isolation nor by any one sector.

''Today's global challenges push us to join hands across borders, between government, business, academia, NGOs and media to overcome hurdles. Together, we can achieve results. Together India and the United States are doing that,'' he added.

Richard Rothman, Commercial Consul, said ''the trade between India and US is my sole role to enhance further trade relations, joint ventures and technology transfers between US and India and for this, we bank upon organisations like AIAI and WTC in achieving my goal.'' WTC President Kamal Morarka, in his address, said US and India were two biggest trading partners and the WTC with its headquarters in US would like to take Indo-US trade relations further and achieve greater heights in trade relations.

AIAI President Vijay Kalantri said trade and commerce form a crucial component in the rapidly expanding and multi-faceted relations between India and US. From a modest 5.6 billion dollars in 1990, the bilateral trade in merchandise goods has increased to 41.62 billion dollars in 2007, representing an impressive 743 per cent growth in a span of 17 years.

''India's merchandise exports to the US grew at 10 per cent from 21.83 billion dollars in 2006 to 24.02 billion dollars in 2007.

Similarly, US exports of merchandise to India increased to 17.59 billion dollars in 2007 from 10.06 billion dollars in 2006, an increase of 75 per cent,'' he added.

Mr Kalantri said in December 2006, US was the leading FDI investor in India and added that there were 330 World Trade Centers in 100 countries having a membership of over 10 lakh.

AIAI and the WTC could play an important role in promoting bilateral trade, according to a AIA-WTC release here today.

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