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US official Alice Wells says India’s rising middle class could mean a demand for US exports

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Alice Wells

Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells says rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy in the country.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells says rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy.

Wells claims the emergence of 350 million middle class consumers will drive Indian growth, while offering major opportunities for U.S. exports.

“Emerging middle-class consumers will have new demands in areas such as education, health care, and financial and professional services — fields where U.S. companies have much to offer … agricultural technology and projects can contribute to a diversified nutritional profile that can do much to advance public health in India,” she said addressing the U.S. India Business Council.

Wells says there is “extraordinary economic potential in the Indian market,” in particular in aviation-related trade. She cited recent Boeing aircraft purchases by SpiceJet and Jet Airways as indicators.

The energy sector is another area with tremendous opportunities. Wells denoted India is the third largest energy consumer in the world, behind China and the U.S. India will “remain one of the largest energy consumers for decades to come,” she said.

Indian companies are increasing their purchases of U.S. crude oil. In addition, several Indian firms are investing in U.S. liquefied natural gas to meet demand. India’s state gas utility signed a 20-year supply agreement with U.S.-based Cheniere Energy. The first delivery of multiple shipments has already taken place.

“Many have questioned how ‘Make America Great’ here and Made in India can be compatible, and indeed, we do need to do more to balance the U.S. trade deficit with India. She says the trade deficit totaled nearly $30 billion in 2016.

“Rising standards of living in India will drive demand for U.S. products, services and energy that can help Indians live healthier and more productive lives. And that will in turn create more growth in India,” added Wells.

Issues such as tariff and non-tariff barriers, subsidies, bureaucratic policies, investment restrictions and intellectual property concerns are being discussed between the State Department, USTR and the Commerce Department.

“We’re committed to a trade relationship that promotes prosperity in both our countries by ensuring that it’s fair and reciprocal,” Wells added.

Wells previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. She also had stints as a senior adviser in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau in the Department of State and as Special Assistant to the President for Russia and Central Asia in the White House. She has serve din roles under Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Executive Assistant under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns.

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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