US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin
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Bengaluru, NFAPost: “United States remains India’s biggest trading partner and largest export market with trade exploding from approximately $20 billion in 2001 to just over $145 billion in 2019 notwithstanding the pandemic taking a toll on trade,” said US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin.

She was addressing members of the United States India Business Council after Karnataka IT Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan opened the India-US Tech Conclave on Wednesday night at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2021.

Ms Judith Ravin said the growth in Indo-US economic ties had been extraordinary and the 2021 data indicates a strong rebound. She said if it continues, the countries would be on track to exceed 2019 numbers.

In addition, she said, US companies continue to be the biggest source of foreign direct investment, fueling continued growth in India.

US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin said the US-India bilateral relationship continues to expand on diverse fronts, from collaboration on mitigating the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change, to space exploration and both the countries’ joint commitment towards a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The US Consul General said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with President Joe Biden in September in Washington, DC to confirm collaboration and commitments to the Indo-Pacific Region.

“Since that visit, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman have come to India to continue these important discussions in advancing a range of initiatives,” said US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin and also pointed out that it would go a long way in cementing ties between the two countries.

Meanwhile, US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin also announced that United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai will travel to New Delhi on November 22 to meet with her counterpart, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and added that both have agreed to take a comprehensive look at ways to expand the bilateral trade relationship.

“When it comes to business, there is no stronger partner to India than the United States. We believe that India’s economic strength is not just in India’s interest, but in the interest of the United States, the region, and the world,” she said.

However, particularly from her perspective in South India, the US Consul General said the commercial ties formed between US and Indian tech companies – big and small have buoyed our business relationship and supported the recovery in both the economies.

“Since my arrival amidst the pandemic just over a year ago, I have witnessed how India’s tech sector has successfully adapted to the lockdowns and Covid-19 protocols as well as led by example in h accommodating the health and well-being of their workforce while facilitating a seamless work-from-home operation,” said US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin.

The US Consul General said these companies at the same time have stepped up to meet the rising demand of software development, data-driven customer service, and back-office support for U.S. firms, ensuring that economies of both the nations remain on track through these difficult times.

“This support comes at a crucial point in our lives, where we now depend more than ever on emerging technologies to virtually attend school, conduct business, and accomplish everyday tasks online, with the click of a mouse,” she said.

Ms Judith Ravin said Bengaluru, as one of the top beneficiaries of U.S. foreign direct investment, has seen the positive impact of quality investments.

“U.S. companies enter foreign markets as true partners and good neighbours. They bring high-paying jobs, advanced technologies, skills, good corporate governance practices, and significant opportunities for Indian Small and Medium Enterprises to integrate with the global economy,” said US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin.

The US Consul General said with over 650 US companies represented in Bengaluru — India’s Silicon Valley — US firms recognize the intrinsic value in working with Indian tech partners, investing in Indian markets, and facilitating mutually beneficial commercial ties that only strengthen their overall bilateral relationship.

Ms Judith Ravin said Indian private sector investments in the United States have also grown significantly in the last decade with total foreign direct investment from India, as of 2020, was $12.7 billion, with “Software and IT Services” being the top recipient by industry sector.

The US Consul General said she would like to extend her invitation to Indian tech companies looking for significant growth prospects to attend the 2022 Select USA Investment Summit.

“The Summit includes a special Select USA Tech component that brings all resources for potential tech investors under one roof to efficiently give participants a comprehensive overview of entering the U.S. market. You can visit SELECTUSA.GOV for further information,” said US Consul General Ms Judith Ravin.

On a parting note, she said she would like to share that US Senator Steve Daines had paid a visit to Bengaluru just over a week ago with the goal of learning about the rapidly expanding tech sector that has churned out dozens of unicorns in just one year – 2020 that too during a pandemic.

She said the senator had met with leaders of multi-billion-dollar companies and walked away with the impression that the state of Karnataka and Bengaluru’s private sector have jointly cultivated a formidable ecosystem, fed by top-notch software and engineering schools, that allows tech startups to develop and flourish.

“This environment has proven beneficial to US companies and, more broadly, to the U.S. economy, as our commercial ties become more interwoven and interdependent,” she said.

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