BY....US GOVT. Press Release, 0ct 06
- Obama’s Remarks in Meeting with Business Leaders in India
- Obama Praises India’s Resolve Against Terrorism
- Background on Obama’s Roundtable with Entrepreneurs in India
- U.S. and India Will Both Benefit from Increased Trade, Obama Says
- Obama at U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit
Obama’s Remarks in Meeting with Business Leaders in India
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
November 6, 2010, 5:10 P.M.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN MEETING WITH CEOs
5:10 P.M. IST
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everybody, for joining us. I’m going to be very brief here today. This is partly because I’ve got a long speech that will immediately follow this.
But as I emphasized before I left the United States, one of the biggest priorities on this trip is to highlight the degree to which U.S. economic success, U.S. job creation, U.S. economic growth is going to be tied to our working with, cooperating with, establishing commercial ties with the fastest-growing economies in the world. And no country represents that promise of a strong, vibrant commercial relationship more acutely than India.
Obviously anybody who comes to Mumbai is struck by the incredible energy and drive and entrepreneurial spirit that exists here. This is a commercial town and this is a increasingly commercial nation. And it is so important for not just U.S. companies but U.S. workers to recognize these incredible opportunities and hopefully for Indian workers and Indian companies to recognize the opportunities for them as well.
So often when we talk about trade and commercial relationships, the question is who’s winning and who’s losing. This is a classic situation in which we can all win. And I’m going to make it one of my primary tasks during the next three days to highlight all the various ways in which we’ve got an opportunity I think to put Americans back to work, see India grow its infrastructure, its networks, its capacity to continue to grow at a rapid pace. And we can do that together, but only if both sides recognize these opportunities.
So rather than speak about these possibilities in the abstract, I’ve been having a terrific conversation with some U.S. CEOs who are already doing a lot of work here in India. I just had a chance to meet some young Indian entrepreneurs, as well as U.S. and Indian companies that are joint-venturing to take U.S. technology and apply it in new ways here in India, using new business and innovative business models.
But what I’m really excited about is the fact that we’re actually doing some business while we’re here. And so before I turn it over to some of the companies, I’d like Minister Sharma to just say a few words and thank him and the entire Indian government for the incredible hospitality that’s already been shown to me during the few hours since I’ve arrived, and I’m very much looking forward to the remaining days ahead.
MINISTER SHARMA: Thank you, Excellency, President Obama. I’m very privileged to welcome you on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of India. Your visit has a special significance, because after many missed opportunities in our engagement as two nations, there has been a historic embrace.
We watched with admiration your election, your commitment, your references to the values espoused by the father of the Indian nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement, and to speak for human dignity and the values associated.
Our two countries share a lot. And in the 21st century, there are expectations that these two countries, which have a shared commitment to democracy, to human rights, pluralistic society, multicultural, multireligious, multiethnic, can define the course, as the global architecture, political and economic, changes.
We welcome what you have said as you embarked for India about doubling the trade, but also increase jobs. By enhanced economic engagement both will happen. India has reached a stage where I can say not with optimism but without any hesitation that this is a country of limitless opportunities for your industry, for your investors to engage in.
At the same time, both our countries are fortunate that we have human resources. U.S. has institutions, U.S. has strengths in innovation, in high-end technologies, and it can be greatly rewarding for both our countries.
My Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the chairperson of the ruling coalition, Sonia Gandhi, has specifically asked me to convey the warm greetings and welcome to you. We hope your visit will be a path-breaking one, clearly defining the road map of the cooperation between the two big democracies of the world.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much.
With that, what I’d like to do is to provide an opportunity for Jeff Immelt and Anil Ambani to talk about work that General Electric and Reliance are going to be doing together. And then I’ll turn it over to representatives of Boeing and SpiceJet to talk about the terrific partnership that they’re forging. These are two wonderful examples of how the collaboration and commercial ties between India and the United States are resulting directly in economic benefits in both countries and jobs in both countries.
So, Jeff, why don’t we start with you?
MR. IMMELT: Thanks, Mr. President. First, I’d like to say thanks for having all of us here today. All of us believe very much in the strategy of doubling exports in the next five years. We’ve all lived the world of globalization and know that it’s not a zero-sum game, that it creates jobs in the United States and also creates jobs in India.
We believe in the Indian market. We think that the coming years are going to represent great opportunity for India and that the U.S. should be a part of that. And so we’re quite excited to be here today.
There will be a trillion dollars — a trillion dollars invested in infrastructure in India. The need is vast. My first trip to India was 25 years ago. There was a shortage of electricity. I’m happy to say, 25 years later, there’s still a shortage of electricity. (Laughter.) I view that as a business opportunity for GE, and we plan to capitalize on our share of that trillion-dollar opportunity in energy.
One of our big customers is Reliance Energy, run by Anil Ambani, one of the best-known Indian CEOs. In the case that we’re going to announce today or commemorate today is an order of 2,400 megawatts of gas turbine technology. This is the most modern technology to this date. It is manufactured in Greenville, South Carolina. This order will support 3,000 jobs in the United States in New York State and in South Carolina, among our thousands of suppliers. It’s the largest gas turbine order in the history of India.
Anil is in the lead of all of this as being one of the major power providers. It also provides for the Indian citizens clean electricity, availability to electricity, and we think it’s among the leading edge and will continue to drive growth in the future.
I know for a fact that Anil has even greater needs in the future for more gas turbines as well, and so I think this is just the first of many.
So we’re honored today to talk about this as a great export opportunity for GE. GE also creates many jobs in India and is committed to doing that in the future as well. And we are very proud to have a fine partner in Reliance Energy and in Anil Ambani.
So we’re quite excited. This is really a great win-win opportunity.
MR. AMBANI: Mr. President, thank you. I thank Jeff for his kind words. I think that Jeff effectively stole most of my speech — (laughter) — but what I want to bring to the attention of people around the table is with what we’ve embarked to do with GE and other U.S. companies in the power sector, we’ll effectively provide up to 10,000 jobs in the U.S. Jeff gave a number of 2,500, which is for GE, and the balance is for other U.S. companies that we are dealing with.
This would have not been possible if we didn’t have the support of the U.S. Ex-Im Bank and I want to put on the card the support from Fred and the rest of his team at U.S. Ex-Im.
Our order for 2,500 megawatts goal which represents to be the largest in India is still the tip of the iceberg. The power sector opportunity in India alone is $100 billion of capital expenditure in the next five years. And it reminds me of a recent article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, which followed one of my visits to Shanghai last week, where we placed a $10 billion order on the Chinese companies
These are two exclusive parts of growth — the gas-based part — we can work with GE and other U.S. companies. But the sky is the limit of future potential in terms of our cooperation.
We’re also deeply involved in other infrastructure areas in which we should get U.S. companies to come in and, of course, receive the support of U.S. Ex-Im. I still believe that I’m personally biased to the U.S. because I’ve been educated in the U.S. I went to the Wharton School, so that is a clear mental and personal bias towards dealing with the U.S. companies.
But saying that apart, I still think that your being here today is a strong signal for us in India. And you’ve chosen to come at a time which is Diwali, which was yesterday. And there could not be a more auspicious moment because we believe in astrology and palmistry — and history. But our new year is tomorrow, so this is the best way to begin our new year to have you here as our valued guest and to make this announcement with Jeff.
Thank you so much.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much, Anil. I appreciate that.
MR. CHADWICK: Well, thank you, Mr. President. I’m fortunate to represent Boeing who has been doing business with India for 60 years now. Unfortunately, unlike Jeff I’ve only been coming here five years. But I’ve come 35 times in five years. (Laughter.)
And so what I’ve found is there are a lot of similarities between India and the United States. The culture is the same. The work ethic is the same. And we all believe in commercial collaboration and partnerships.
We’re here with SpiceJet today to commemorate a sale of 30 new 737 next-generation aircraft. We are proud as a Boeing company to be a partner with SpiceJet and all the employees of Boeing — this is an honor for them.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Kansagra.
MR. KANSAGRA: Thank you. Welcome, Mr. President, to India. As a fellow Kenyan, I’m very proud to see that you have made —
THE PRESIDENT: Made something of myself. (Laughter.)
MR. KANSAGRA: — India as the focus of your drive for exports out of the U.S. To that effect, the 30 aircraft order, which is the second of such orders we have placed with Boeing, will enhance SpiceJet’s penetration into the Indian low-cost travel, low-cost transportation market, which really is the focus for SpiceJet.
Boeing has given us huge support together — and Fred also has extended his assistance to finance our forthcoming aircraft in the next year. That support and that partnership will take SpiceJet and Boeing to greater heights. And your coming here to India today will only help that day further. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much.
So, just to summarize, just around this table you're seeing billions of dollars in orders from U.S. companies, tens of thousands of jobs being supported. We're a potential that has barely been scratched. And this is, I think, why folks back home in the United States need to embrace the possible partnership with India — as a democracy, one that appreciates human rights and pluralism, one that has a entrepreneurial culture. We have an enormous possibility to partner with them for decades to come.
And by the way, it’s not just big companies that we’re emphasizing. We just had some terrific meetings with some start-up ventures. And I’ll just give a couple of examples. We have an Indian entrepreneur who has purchased water filtration equipment from a U.S. company. The U.S. company typically sold it to big plants around the country, but this Indian entrepreneur realized getting clean water is hard in India. And he’s actually set up franchises using the U.S. filtration equipment and franchised a hundred franchisees around the country where they're selling clean water at a very, very cheap rate.
It’s good for those communities. It’s good for the businesses. And it’s supporting jobs in the United States of America. We’re seeing examples of that all across the board, but we haven’t taken full advantage of these opportunities. And we need to.
On the Indian side, I just want to say to the people of India, every American businessperson who comes here is thrilled, Mr. Minister, with how rapidly India is growing and its increasing preeminence on the world stage. And I think that we want to place our bets with India as a strong partner. And that's true not only in the private sector, as you’ve already heard, but it’s true with the U.S. government, as well, which is why I’m so looking forward to spending time here over the next several days.
Thank you very much, everybody.
06 November 2010
Obama Praises India’s Resolve Against Terrorism
President Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, said the United States and India share a determination to give their people security and prosperity.
By Stephen Kaufman
Washington — President Obama paid tribute to terror victims and the resilience of Indian society in the face of security threats, and said the United States and India are cooperating more closely than ever against terrorism.
The president spoke November 6 at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel buildings, which were among the sites in Mumbai that were targeted by terrorists on November 26, 2008, in a four-day attack that killed more than 165 people.
“The resolve and the resilience of the Indian people during those attacks stood in stark contrast to the savagery of the terrorists,” Obama said. “The murderers came to kill innocent civilians that day. But those of you here risked everything to save human lives.”
The terrorists failed in their attempt to “pit believers of different faiths against one another,” and demoralize India, he said.
Since the attacks, the governments of India and the United States have worked together more closely to keep their citizens safe by “sharing intelligence, preventing more attacks, and demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Obama said.
Speaking in front of the memorial in front of the Taj Mahal Palace, the president said those who target the innocent “offer nothing but death and destruction,” in contrast to India, the United States and other targeted countries who are seeking to build societies of inclusion and offer dignity and opportunity to their citizens,
“That is the spirit of the gateway behind us, which in its architecture reflects all the beauty and strength of different faiths and traditions, and which has welcomed people to this city for a century,” Obama said.
On November 4, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against the Pakistan-based terrorist groups Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LET) and Jaish-e Mohammed. LET carried out the November 2008 attacks, as well as a deadly train bombing in Mumbai in 2006.
Following his remarks, the president visited the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum, a former home of Indian independence and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. The president has expressed his admiration of Gandhi’s message of nonviolence and his ability to effect change through the power of his ethics.
At the museum, Obama also saw the guest book signed by American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his 1959 visit. In a separate book, the president wrote: “I am filled with hope and inspiration as I have the privilege to visit this testament to Gandhi. He is a hero not just to India, but to the world."
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Topics: Opportunity, South & Central Asia
Keywords: India, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, Barack Obama, economic growth, poverty
06 November 2010
Background on Obama’s Roundtable with Entrepreneurs in India
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
November 6, 2010
On Saturday, November 6, 2010, in Mumbai, President Obama will convene a roundtable discussion with a small group of U.S. and Indian business leaders to showcase commercial partnerships that exemplify the promise of each country’s dynamic entrepreneur-led economic growth. The discussion will focus on the growing trade and investment between our two countries, and the resulting opportunities for our entrepreneurs to build new markets and create high-quality jobs in the U.S. and India.
Joining at the table will be a group of India- and U.S.-based private sector executives whose respective partnerships are creating jobs in the United States and improving the quality of life for millions in India.
• Electric/Clean transport: Motor controls designed, built and exported by New York-based Curtis Instruments are a key technology in the Mahindra-Reva electric car. Through this partnership, Mahindra Reva and Curtis are advancing the commercialization and adoption of ‘clean’ vehicles in India and across the globe.
• Distributed solar power: Solar panels manufactured by Georgia-based Suniva are being built into Applied Solar Technologies’ modules to power cell towers in India. Through this partnership, solar hybrid is replacing diesel as a rural power source that could have broader applications in other rural markets.
• Clean drinking water: Water membranes manufactured by Minnesota-based Pentair Filtration Systems are being used by Piramal’s Sarvajal to develop sustainable drinking water solutions for rural and urban populations where water quality currently causes more than 70 percent of common health problems.
• Drug discovery: The Epic System, an optical biosensor technology developed and manufactured by Upstate New York’s Corning Incorporated, is being used in partnership with Advinus Therapeutics for the development of new therapies for a variety of diseases, including ‘neglected’ diseases such as leshmaniasis, a parasite that disables tens of thousands Indians each year and is a growing threat to American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Also present in the room will be a group of fifteen young entrepreneurs who are spearheading initiatives that are creating jobs and improving the delivery of basic services — health care, education, clean water, power, financial services — through market-based strategies that benefit low-income communities. With nearly 65 percent of India’s 1.2 billion citizens under the age of 35, these individuals embody our shared belief in democracy and economic growth as central elements to greater poverty alleviation.
U.S. and India Will Both Benefit from Increased Trade, Obama Says
President Obama greets audience members at the U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit
By Stephen Kaufman
— President Obama told business leaders from India and the United States that increased bilateral commerce will be a “win-win proposition for both nations” and welcomed India’s rapid economic rise as “one of the most stunning achievements in human history.”
Speaking November 6 at the U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit in Mumbai, India, Obama said the strengthening ties between their two countries is offering important benefits to both.
“It is a dynamic, two-way relationship that is creating jobs, growth, and higher living standards in both our countries,” he said.
Broad-based economic growth through trade and commerce unleashes “the most powerful force the world has ever known for eradicating poverty and creating opportunity.” The United States ardently supports India’s rise and wants to increase its investments in the country, he said.
The president announced that more than 20 landmark deals between the two countries had been sealed earlier in the day, totally nearly $10 billion in U.S. exports.
“From medical equipment and helicopters to turbines and mining equipment, American companies stand ready to support India’s growing economy, the needs of your people, and your ability to defend this nation. And today’s deals will lead to more than 50,000 jobs in the United States,” Obama said.
Entrepreneurs from both countries are also finding new ways to adapt U.S. technology to new uses and business models that benefit the Indian people, he said.
“They’re working together to make cell towers across India that can run on solar, and not diesel. They’re putting American technology into Indian electric cars. They’re trying to bring new filtration systems and clean drinking water to rural India; and they're trying to develop better drugs for diseases like malaria,” the president said.
Increased bilateral trade and investment also “means more choices for Indian consumers and more jobs for Indians and Americans,” he said.
According to a November 6 White House press release, India is “one of the most important and promising emerging markets in the world,” and the International Monetary Fund has predicted that its gross domestic product will grow at an annual rate of more than eight percent through 2015.
The press release said India’s demand for foreign goods has grown significantly since 2002, with merchandise imports quadrupling to reach $257.7 billion in 2009. The United States currently represents more than 6 percent, or $16.4 billion of India’s import market, making it India’s second-largest import partner after China.
In his remarks, the president said the two countries “can do much better.” Currently, India is the 12th largest trading partner of the United States, and less than 2 percent of U.S. exports go to India. “Our entire trade with your country is still less than our trade with the Netherlands … a country with a smaller population than the city of Mumbai,” he said.
“There’s no reason this nation can’t be one of our top trading partners. And that’s why we want to work together with you to remove the barriers to increased trade and investment between our nations,” Obama said.
U.S. and India Will Both Benefit from Increased Trade, Obama Says
Obama at U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 6, 2010, 5:43 P.M
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please, everyone be seated. Good afternoon, everyone. Namaste. Thank you all for an extraordinarily warm welcome. And before I get started, I just want to acknowledge some outstanding public servants, some wonderful dignitaries who are in the room. Anand Sharma, our Commerce and Industry Minister here in India. (Applause.) Khurshid Salman, the Minister of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs, who’s here. (Applause.) Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, State Planning Commission Deputy Chairman. (Applause.) Gary Locke, who is the Secretary of Commerce for the United States. (Applause.) Terry McGraw, the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council. (Applause.) Hari Bhartia, the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries. (Applause.) And Rajan Bharti Mittal, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (Applause.)
On behalf of my wife Michelle and myself, thank you to the people of Mumbai and the people India for the incredible hospitality you have already shown just in the few hours since I've arrived in this magnificent country.
We are especially honored to be here as you celebrate Diwali. (Applause.) Some of you may know this. Last year, I was honored to become the first American President to help celebrate the Festival of Lights in the White House. (Applause.) And I know that today, families are lighting their Diyas and giving thanks for their blessings and looking ahead to the new year. So to all of you who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and a Saal Mubarak. (Applause.)
I want to thank all the organizations that have brought us together today, as well as the business leaders, the CEOs, the government officials who have joined us here in Mumbai. I just had some incredibly productive discussions with American business leaders and Indian entrepreneurs, and today I want to speak with you about why we all benefit from the strengthening ties between our nations.
This is my first trip to India, but this will be my longest visit to another country since becoming President. (Applause.) And that’s because I believe that the relationship between the United States and India will be one of the defining and indispensable partnerships of the 21st century.
Our nations are the two largest democracies on Earth. We are bound by a common language and common values; shared aspirations and a shared belief that opportunity should be limited only by how hard you’re willing to work, only by how hard you are willing to try. Trade and commerce between our people has been happening for centuries — even before we were independent nations. Indian immigrants crossed oceans to work on farms in the United States, and later generations came to practice medicine, and do cutting-edge research, and to start businesses. American researchers, in turn, partnered with Indian scientists to launch the Green Revolution that transformed life for generations of Indians. Americans have helped build India, and India has helped to build America.
Today, your country is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. And while there are many amazing success stories and rapidly expanding markets in Asia, the sheer size and pace of India’s progress in just two decades is one of the most stunning achievements in human history. (Applause.) This is a fact. Since your reform of the licensing raj and embrace of the global economy, India has lifted tens of millions of people from poverty and created one of the largest middle classes on the planet.
You are now a nation of rapid growth and rising incomes and massive investments in infrastructure and energy and education. In the coming decades, you will be the world’s most populous nation, with the largest workforce and one of the largest economies in the world. Now, undoubtedly, that means that the United States and India will engage in a healthy competition for markets and jobs and industries of the future. But it also offers the prospect of expanded commercial ties that strongly benefit both countries.
The United States sees Asia — and especially India — as a market of the future. We don’t simply welcome your rise — as a nation, and a people — we ardently support it. We want to invest in it. And I’m here because I believe that in our interconnected world, increased commerce between the United States and India can be and will be a win-win proposition for both nations. (Applause.)
I realize that for some, this truth may not be readily apparent. I want to be honest. There are many Americans whose only experience with trade and globalization has been a shuttered factory or a job that was shipped overseas. And there still exists a caricature of India as a land of call centers and back offices that cost American jobs. That's a real perception. Here in India, I know that many still see the arrival of American companies and products as a threat to small shopkeepers and to India’s ancient and proud culture.
But these old stereotypes, these old concerns ignore today’s reality: In 2010, trade between our countries is not just a one-way street of American jobs and companies moving to India. It is a dynamic, two-way relationship that is creating jobs, growth, and higher living standards in both our countries. And that is the truth. (Applause.)
As we look to India today, the United States sees an opportunity to sell our exports in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. For America, this is a jobs strategy. As we recover from this recession, we are determined to rebuild our economy on a new, stronger foundation for growth. And part of that foundation involves doing what America has always been known for: discovering and creating and building the products that are sold all over the world. That’s why I’ve set a goal of doubling America’s exports over the next five years — because for every $1 billion in exports, thousands of jobs are supported at home.
And already, our exports to India have quadrupled in recent years — growing much faster than our exports to many other countries. The goods we sell in this country currently support tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs across the United States — from California and Washington to Pennsylvania and Florida. And that doesn’t even include all the American jobs supported by our other exports to India — from agriculture to travel to educational services.
As we speak, American-made machinery is helping India improve its infrastructure, including the new airport here in Mumbai where I landed this morning. This year, there was a new sight on India’s highways — American-made Harley-Davidson motorcycles. (Laughter.) A growing number of American-made aircraft are taking flight in your skies. And soon, there will be more.
That’s because today, just moments before I arrived here, several landmark deals were sealed between the United States and India. Boeing, one of America’s largest companies, is on track to sell India dozens of commercial and cargo aircraft. General Electric, another American company, will sell more than a hundred advanced jet engines. And I’m pleased that two U.S. firms are finalists for a major locomotive tender. Now, these are just a few of the more than 20 deals being announced today, totaling nearly $10 billion in U.S. exports. (Applause.)
From medical equipment and helicopters to turbines and mining equipment, American companies stand ready to support India’s growing economy, the needs of your people, and your ability to defend this nation. And today’s deals will lead to more than 50,000 jobs in the United States — 50,000 jobs. (Applause.) Everything from high-tech jobs in Southern California to manufacturing jobs in Ohio.
Now, these are major deals that are significant for both our nations. But our trade relationship is not just about what America sells India. It’s also about Indian investment in America is doing. Indian investment in America is among the fastest growing of any country. In recent years, Indian companies have invested billions of dollars in the United States — in American machinery, manufacturing, mining, research, technology. Today, these investments support tens of thousands of American jobs.
And at the same time, hundreds of American companies — including many small businesses — are investing in India; not just in telecommunications, but in industries from clean energy to agriculture. This means more choices for Indian consumers and more jobs for Indians and Americans.
Our relationship is also about more than the goods that we sell or the investments we make — it’s about the innovative partnerships we forge in the name of progress. Before I came here, I had a fascinating meeting. I met with business leaders from both our countries, including some incredibly young Indian entrepreneurs. And what’s fascinating is the way that they are now partnering to take technology that has had one application and use in the United States and found entirely new uses and new businesses models here, in India.
They’re working together to make cell towers across India that can run on solar, and not diesel. They’re putting American technology into Indian electric cars. They’re trying to bring new filtration systems and clean drinking water to rural India; and they're trying to develop better drugs for diseases like malaria. These are examples of American companies doing well and Indian companies doing well.
And these partnerships remind us that by pursuing trade and commerce, we are unleashing the most powerful force the world has ever known for eradicating poverty and creating opportunity — and that's broad-based economic growth.
Now, despite all this progress, the economic relationship between the United States and India is still one of enormous untapped potential. Of all the goods that India imports, less than 10 percent come from the United States. Of all the goods that America exports to the world, less than 2 percent go to India. Our entire trade with your country is still less than our trade with the Netherlands — this is a country with a smaller population than the city of Mumbai. As a result, India is only our 12th largest trade partner.
I have no doubt that we can do better than that — we can do much better. There’s no reason this nation can’t be one of our top trading partners. And that’s why we want to work together with you to remove the barriers to increased trade and investment between our nations.
In the United States, we’re committed to doing our part. With India and our other G20 partners, we’ve resisted the protectionism that would have plunged the global economy even deeper into recession. Today, our country remains one of the most open economies in the world. And while I make no apologies about doing whatever it takes to encourage job creation and business investment in America, I still work to make sure our efforts don’t unfairly target companies and workers from this nation or any nation.
And to further increase our exports to places like India, we’re marshalling the full resources of the United States government to help our companies sell their goods and services in other markets. We’re increasing export financing for small and medium-sized businesses. We’re being a better advocate for our businesses. We’re increasing our trade missions. In fact, my Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, will be leading another trade mission to India in the next few months. And we’re reforming our export control system, so that even as we strengthen our national security, we make sure that unnecessary barriers don’t stand in the way of high-tech trade between our countries. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we will work with India to fundamentally reform our controls on exports, which will allow greater cooperation in a range of high-tech sectors and strengthen our nonproliferation efforts. (Applause.)
So we're taking the necessary steps to strengthen this relationship. India can also do its part. Over the past two decades, it has become much easier for companies to do business and invest here in India. It was striking talking to some of the American CEOs who are here who’ve come frequently over decades and seen the incredible progress that's been made. But I don't think it’s any secret that infrastructure, regulatory barriers and other issues of uncertainty still pose some serious challenges.
Today, India is making major investments in its infrastructure and creating greater transparency to support growth and entrepreneurship. Going forward, that commitment must be matched by a steady reduction in barriers to trade and foreign investment — from agriculture to infrastructure, from retail to telecommunications. Because in a global economy, new growth and jobs flow to countries that lower barriers to trade and investment.
These are steps we can take together to strengthen the economic ties between our nations — ties that hold incredible promise for our people and our future — the promise of new jobs, new industries and new growth. Whether or not that promise is fulfilled depends on us — on the decisions we make and the partnership we build in the coming years.
We must admit it won’t always be an easy road, but as I stand here today, I can tell you that I’m absolutely confident we will meet this challenge because — (applause) — because in our two nations, I see the fundamental ingredients to success in the 21st century.
I’m confident because we both cherish the entrepreneurial spirit that empowers innovation and risk-taking, and allows them to turn a good idea into a new product or company that changes the world. And we have examples of Indian entrepreneurs and American entrepreneurs sitting right here who’ve already begun to do that.
And I’m confident because we both know that for those businesses to thrive, our nations need to invest in science and technology, in research and development, and an infrastructure for the 21st century.
I’m confident because we both recognize that knowledge is the currency of the future, and that we must give our children the skills and education that success requires in a global economy. (Applause.)
And I’m confident because our countries are blessed with the most effective form of government the world has ever known: democracy. (Applause.) Even if it can be slow at times. Even if it can be messy. Even if, sometimes, the election doesn’t turn out as you’d like. (Laughter and applause.)
For we know that when governments are accountable to their people, their people are more likely to prosper; and that, over the long run, democracy and economic growth, freedom in the political sphere and freedom in the economic sphere go hand in hand. We believe that. (Applause.)
What gives me the most confidence about our future is our greatest resource — the drive and ingenuity of our people: workers and entrepreneurs- students and innovators; Indians and Americans, including the nearly 3 million Indian Americans who bind our nations together. (Applause.)
For despite all the sweeping changes of the last few decades –- from the reform of the licensing raj to the technological revolutions that continue to shape our global economy — it has been people who have driven our progress. It is individual men and women like you who put their shoulder to the wheel of history and push. An American scientist who discovers an agricultural breakthrough. An Indian engineer who builds the next-generation electric car. A small business owner in Detroit who sells his product to a new company in New Delhi. And all the Mumbaikars who get up every day in this City of Dreams to forge a better life for their children –- from the boardrooms of world-class Indian companies to the shops in the winding alleys of Dharavai.
This is the spirit of optimism and determination that has driven our people since before we were nations — the same spirit that will drive our future. And that's why I’m thrilled to be in India and with you here today. And that's why I’m confident that we can and will forge new economic partnerships and deliver the jobs and broad-based growth that our peoples so richly deserve. And I am absolutely certain that the relationship between the United States and India is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.