'India-US partnership can touch $1 trillion by 2030'

Written by: IANS
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Washington, Sept 16: Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landmark visit to the US later this month, an Indian foreign policy think tank has raised the tantalising prospect of India-US Partnership touching $1 trillion by 2030.

[Read: Modi regime offers opportunity to reenergise US-India ties: US expert]

To elevate the bilateral trade from $120 billion in 2013 to $1 trillion in 2030, Mumbai-based Gateway House, in a research paper authored by a former Indian American Obama administration official, advocates a different path for the India-US bilateral from all others

Nish Acharya, a senior advisor at Northeastern University, suggests a path "based on the hockey-stick curve more typical of tech start-ups, one that will bring India into the group of the three other countries outside of the G7 which have a deep economic relationship with the US: Israel, Mexico and South Korea".

"Technology, then as now, presents the springboard for the future of a vigorous India-US partnership," writes Acharya who as the director of innovation and entrepreneurship led the Obama administration's efforts to nurture economic growth through innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

The paper identifies four positions that India must pursue, and four that the US must pursue for the success of the engagement.

Suggestions for India include creation of a 'surge' -- "rapid and intense deployment of talented individuals and technical experts to address critical and immediate challenges in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, energy and agriculture".

Leading and innovating new technologies can create millions of new jobs and opportunities in India, he said.

"Towards this, India needs to build a 'Silicon Swadesh' -- a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, modelled on Silicon Valley, to support home-grown innovation and entrepreneurship across several Indian cities," Acharya suggested.

India also needs to build a ramp for poverty alleviation -- a ramp which would enable the 42 percent of Indians that live under the World Bank poverty line of $1.25 a day to access the services of NGOs, social entrepreneurs and microfinance organisations.

Noting that Indian Americans have contributed significantly to the entrepreneurial, small business and healthcare sectors in the US, Acharya suggested India could continue to feed this pipeline of skilled professionals in the US.

US companies could also learn much about innovation and scale from Indian companies with experience in low-cost innovation, constant process improvement and frugal budgeting, he wrote.

Noting that an estimated 100 million Indians who study and work abroad have family and friends in the US and maintain a connection to the US throughout their lives, Acharya suggested "the US can leverage this customer base in the areas of education, tourism and luxury brands".

Development entrepreneurs and innovators in the US were also keen to collaborate with Indian partners on research, innovation, experimentation to reach a potential customer base of nearly five billion Indians for development-related products, brands and services, he said.


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