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Why Modi's US visit is crucial for Obama administration?

By Avinash
Google Oneindia News
What Obama wants from Modi?
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first official visit to the United States everybody is talking about what all the Indian leader would be seeking from the US. But it must be noted that Washington also needs New Delhi as much as New Delhi needs Washington.

The Obama administration would also be waiting eagerly for Narendra Modi to give a new dimension to the Indo-US relation. This symbiosis will help the worlds oldest and the largest democracy sustain long lasting and strong relationships.

As the US prepares to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a landmark visit this week, several commentators have suggested ways of what they call kick-starting the US-Indian strategic partnership.

As per an IANS report, Ashley J Tellis, senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a leading Washington think tank, wrote, "Modi's visit to Washington will provide the two countries with "a golden opportunity to repair their faltering partnership."

Now, lets discuss about why Obama has rolled out the red carpet for Narendra Modi.

Reduce China's growing clout in South Asia

US is very much worried about Beijing's increasing clout in the entire South East Asian region. China, world's second largest economy, is constantly growing its influence by bringing all small nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc in the entire South Asia.

China's growth is posing a challenge to the US markets since the latter considers that former will eventually attain the status of the world's superpower in coming years. In order to neutralise China's rising dominance and balance the geo-politics of South Asian region, US would be needing the support of an emerging economy and democracy like India.

Experts also feel that China presents itself as a threat at the regional level to India and at a global level to the US.

Get more access to lucrative Indian market

With a population of 1.25 billion, India, is the biggest market in the world and White House would be hoping to get more penetration by making new trade deals with Modi. Modi's big plans to make India a superpower makes it imperative for Washington to offer support in giving infrastructural and economic boost to this developing economy.

This will in turn earn lots of foreign revenue to the US which is suffering with economic crisis. Also, Modi government's love for trade and technology will also give a chance to Obama to bag millions of dollars. Obama would be offering nearly $500 billion trade to lure India.

FDI in India has offered immense opportunity

India has opened its doors for investments by foreign companies after giving a go ahead to FDI in retail, insurance, banking, aviation and various others. But, India has not received the desired outcome due to the economic and political deadlock. Hence, Obama administration would be making every possible effort to give an easy access to its retail, aviation, insurance and other related companies in Indian markets.

US would be hoping that the Narendra Modi administration resolved the deadlock over FDI in retail and gives a go ahead to its retail giants like Walmart open its outlets in India.

Defence deals

India, which is surrounded by hostile neighbours like Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, has always been a largest importer of defence equipments. India has never been a big market for multi-billion American defence industry. When it came to purchasing defence equipments Russia has been New Delhi's first choice. Defence acquisition from the country has spruced up recently to $ 29 billion.

But, this image has changed in the past few years partly because India has started exploring better options and also due to Russia's increasing bonhomie with its rival Pakistan. Thus, US would leave no stones unturned to make full use of this opportunity and open its defence arsenal for India.

Obama would also wish Narendra Modi government agrees to its offer of opening ordinance factories in India.

Counter terrorism

One common challenge which these two nations face is effectively combat threat of Islamic terrorism. Obama is expected to seek Modi's support in his effort to create a global coalition against Islamic State terror group that has gained control over large swaths of Syria and Iraq, almost equal in size of Britain.

Obama, as he has been doing with other global leaders, is expected to urge Modi to join the international coalition against the ISIS terror outfit, which if left unchallenged poses a major threat to the security and stability of the Middle East region and the world.

India, in the has been a constantly batting for terror free world and has always supported nations combating terror. White House knows it very well that New Delhi faces constant troubles from terror outfits like LeT, Al Qaida, etc. Hence Obama would be hoping Modi just comes in congruence with him to counter ISIS in Iraq.

Getting Modi's approval for WTO deal

Putting its foot down, India has reportedly blocked the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) trade facilitation agreement (TFA) which was largely agreed upon in Bali last year.

India has its concern about food subsidy and stockpile of food grains and wants it to be addressed first before signing the TFA. TFA is largely seen as an effort by developed countries to access vast markets of new growing economy of the developing country.

US would work with India to revise the terms of the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) for easier, faster and cheaper trade by making systems transparent and cutting red tape. Obama administration would hope that the two sides agree on broad contours and pave the way for a new agreement at the WTO.

Hence, Obama would be leaving no stones unturned to lure Narendra Modi for getting these things done.

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