Robert Blake, the Obama administration's point man for South Asia, has predicted that Indo-US trade is likely to exceed $100 billion this year.
Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, keynoting the gala banquet on August 26, arranged by the Indian American community organisations of the Greater Washington Metropolitan region under the aegis of the National Council of Asian Indian Association to celebrate India's 65th anniversary of its independence, said, "As someone privileged to represent the United States in India from 2003 to 2006, I had the honor of twice attending the annual Independence Day address given by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the great Red Fort in Delhi."
"I was always moved by the pageantry, by the rich history this ceremony reflects, and by the memories of Pandit Nehru's famous 'Tryst with Destiny' speech."
Blake said that "in many ways, the United States and India are fulfilling our own destinies now, as we cooperate even more closely together," and noted that "since India's independence, and most notably over the last decade, we have woven the tapestry of cooperation into one of the broadest and deepest bilateral relationships in the world."
"Today," he declared, "this is a relationship that knows no limits. On virtually every field of human endeavor, the United States and India are partnering to shape a more secure and prosperous environment not just in our two countries, but throughout the world."
Blake said, "That is why our two governments decided to elevate our partnership, when President Obama and Prime Minister Singh first came together and decided to create a Strategic Dialogue, the first session of which we held in June of 2009 - and it is a dialogue that's producing real results for the well-being and security of our two peoples."
"To take but one example," the senior US diplomat said, "trade between our two countries is up 40 percent in just the last three years and it may exceed $100 billion this year."
But, Blake quoting his boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "The problems we face today will not be solved by governments alone. It will be in partnerships -partnerships with philanthropy, with global business, and partnerships with civil society."
"And that is where all of you, the incredible citizens of both our countries, have played such an important role," he told the audience of more than 300 people, which included India's Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, senior government of Maryland officials and state and local legislators, and scores of Indian American community leaders.
Blake said, "Today, we share with India a vibrant two-way exchange of entrepreneurs, academics, students, professors, and scientists, and so many others, that has come to serve as a model for others around the world."
"Our business ties have reshaped global commerce and our education and research partnerships are forging news paradigms of innovation," he added.
And, according to Blake, "The common thread - from the classrooms of Chennai and College Park to the boardrooms in Bangalore and Baltimore - is the passionate and committed Indian American community."