Sat, 16 Mar 2013 12:50:49 GMT

Indo-US partnership vital to promote regional stability: Bera



From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Mar 15 (PTI) Asserting that India has a critical role in South Asia, Indian-American Congressman Dr Ami Bera has said the Indo-US strategic partnership is vital to promote regional stability.

"Economically, we clearly see the opportunities, and a robust trading relationship with India is vital as we start to accelerate our economic recovery and start to create jobs here at home," Bera said during a Congressional hearing on South Asia.

"In fact, in my home state of California, exports to India are worth over USD 3.7 billion annually. It is a vital relationship," Bera said.

In the first few months of being elected to the US House of Representatives, Bera on Wednesday played the role of Ranking Member of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during its hearing in "The Rebalance to Asia: Why South Asia Matters".

The Democrat from California is the only Indian-American in the current Congress and only the third ever Indian- American lawmaker.

In his statement, Bera said that India is emerging as a key strategic partner of the US.

"We are establishing deeper relationships with other nations throughout Asia using India as a strategic partner.
Our own interests in promoting regional stability make it imperative that the US participate along with India in these regional organisations as well," he said.

As the US starts drawing down its troops from Afghanistan, he said the two countries share a common interest in promoting regional peace and international security.

"India also has a critical role in holding and maintaining some of the gains we''ve made, and helping anchor the stability in South Asia. The US is depending on India to serve as a regional economic anchor and a provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region," Bera said.

During the hearing, Bera also pushed for greater co-operation between India and the US in the education sector.

"As we think about the Indian-American community, we''ve prospered, and we''ve done very well here in the US, and have continued to give back to the US economically, academically and so forth," he said.

Responding to Bera, Sanjay Puri, founder and CEO, Alliance for US India Business, said education is very important.

"We look at those students who come from India as a big source of revenue, because they pay full fare, but they also contribute a lot in terms of technology," Puri said. (MORE) PTI LKJ ASK

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