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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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Indian Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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