I spoke at the USIBC event where we officially started the week’s events in Washington for the Strategic Dialogue with India. Ten years ago, we would have seen fifty or sixty people gathered together to network and discuss the possibilities of closer relations between these two democracies. This year, more than 500 people attended the event at the National Building Museum to share thoughts, establish connections, and hear about the “indispensable partnership” and “defining relationship of the 21st century” between the US and India.
This dialogue will include strategic discussions between Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna on regional cooperation, intelligence collaboration, energy security, women’s empowerment, development and poverty issues, and education reform. President Obama will attend the reception at the historic Benjamin Franklin Treaty Room at the State Department to highlight the importance of the global partnership between these two multiparty and multicultural countries. The people-to-people ties, and the business-to-business successes, will be spotlighted and expanded by both private sector and public sector initiatives.
High-level and extremely productive events often drive policy activity and new initiatives. After Secretary Clinton’s visit to India in July of 2009, Prime Minister Singh’s State Dinner visit to the White House in November of 2009, the ongoing Strategic Dialogues in June of 2010, and an impending visit to India by President Obama in the Fall of 2010, the relationship is rapidly moving in an historic direction.