former Ambassador to India David Mulford said that India has to be the US' first geopolitical priority in the world.
As India is on its way to becoming a major global power, New Delhi and the US must focus on trade and investment by negotiating agreements that will create jobs in the two countries, David Mulford, former Ambassador to India said at the recently concluded Houston India Conference.
The second edition of the two-day conference was themed "Make in India-The India Story" and it drew to a close on March 9.
Addressing the conference, Mulford said that India has to be the US' first geopolitical priority in the world. He also said that Washington DC must focus on building relations with New Delhi on its own and not clubbed with another country. Mulford also welcomed the measures against Pakistan.
"India's time has come" was the general consensus at the conference that focused on investment opportunities in India, India-Texas trade, the 'Make in India' initiative. The conference brought together thought leaders in industry, trade, diplomacy, economics and journalism from India and US.
In his opening remarks, Consul General of India in Houston Dr Anupam Ray said that the conference was a platform for people involved with writing the India story to help the next generation write the new chapters.
Jagdip Ahluwalia, a co-founder of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH), reflected in how far the US-India trade equation has progressed in recent time and how it has been helping with jobs creation in Texas and India.
"The conference fit very well in the 18 plus year agenda of the chamber in helping facilitate bilateral trade with India", Ahluwalia told PTI and appreciated Ray for being the brainchild of such events that help in bringing US trade closer to India.
Conference Chair, Jiten Agarwal, emphasized on the recent shipments of petroleum and LNG from Texas, and beginning of strong US-India skills collaboration to develop skills ecosystem in India following the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US.
Speakers included Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman, Brookings India, David Mulford, Former US Ambassador to India, Nisha Biswal, President, US-India Business Council (USIBC), Aparna Subramani, Executive Director, World Bank, and Sandeep Sen, CEO, Aegis Ltd.
Subramani and Sen made presentations on "Investing in India", and said that "big bang reforms" were powering the surge in FDI to India.
Brookings India President Mehta spoke of the unifying national narrative in India of a growing middle class and economic aspirations that provided an investment opportunity for US businesses. He also responded to a question about corruption by saying that "ethical" businesses had grown and are flourishing in India.
USIBC President Biswal said that the future of India-US relations was in "Going Global and Going local" – increasing convergence at international and sub-national levels.
Zachary Dell, of the Dell family, and Sapphira Goradia, of the Goradia Foundation, spoke of their work in the social entrepreneurship and impact, investing space in India. Dell said that a sanitation revolution was underway in India, which could be powered by cutting edge engineering and production techniques for the manufacture of hi-tech, low cost toilets.The event was sponsored by the Consulate General of India, Houston, Expedien, McDermott International, a Houston based company investing in India.