New Delhi: At a time when the whole world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, India and the US have been working in close collaboration, be it in stabilizing global energy markets or in collaborative efforts to address the dreaded disease. In an effort to further cement the bi-lateral relationship during these challenging times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address the ‘2020 India Ideas Summit’ to be hosted by India Business Council on Wednesday (22nd July).
 
Several speakers from both public and private sectors will share their thoughts at the summit for discussions on the future of the US-India Partnership and the trends shaping globalisation, trade and investment, and the future of work in the COVID-era and beyond. Among others, External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar will also address the summit.
 
In today’s turbulent world, one constant is –and always will be –the strength of this bilateral partnership. India has invited the US companies and investors to engage and invest in India in new opportunities. India will see an investment of over $118 billion in oil and gas exploration as well as in setting up natural gas infrastructure, including development of gas supply and distribution networks in the next five years as the country prepares to meet the needs of a fast-growing economy.
 
The intensity in the relationship between the two countries can be understood by the fact that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to wish the United States a happy Fourth of July recently, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet, thank you my friend, America loves India. India is really a rare country that has handled transitions quite well in the United States and it has a genuine bipartisan goodwill in DC.
 
During an interview at the India Global Week session on ‘‘Partners in Revival – India’s role in shaping a better New World’’, External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar said that the last four American Presidents - Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W Bush, and Bill Clinton - you can’t find four people in the world less similar to each other and yet the one thing on which actually, all four of them have agreed on is the importance of India and the need to strengthen that relationship.
 
‘‘And, what we have actually in the US today is, we have a very strong political relationship, strategic relationship, very strong security defence cooperation, and increasing economic relationship, a very unique technology relationship. For multiple decades we have had good relations, but certainly, the last two decades that has become stronger. I expect it’s a relationship which will become more important even in the American calculus of the world,’’ he said.
 
The US has also appreciated India’s initiative in strengthening the bilateral relationship, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also an opportunity to bring the two nations closer through collaboration in the area of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and associated supply chains.
 
It can be hoped that the extraordinary cooperation between the two countries during the COVID-19 pandemic would continue in areas of building infrastructure, increasing bilateral investments, and generating jobs.
 
Exploring the vast untapped potential of the India-US commercial relationship, and the potential risk of inward-looking policies in a post-COVID world will surely cement the extraordinary India-US bilateral relationship that has grown from strength to strength on trade, investment, and connectivity.