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Ro Khanna hosts first US-India Summit

First of its kind, the US-India summit featured Indian-American lawmakers officials, community leaders and business forums representatives.

India-American Congressman Ro Khanna addressing US-India Summit on Capitol Hill.

In an effort to strengthen the US-India strategic and economic relationship, Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, co-chair of the India Caucus hosted the US-India Summit on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C on April 26, 2023.

The summit was attended by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu and virtually by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, House Minority Leader Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), Atul Keshap also graced the event.

In his introductory note, Khanna said, “It is the first time in the history of Caucus that we have a summit bringing the Indian-American leaders together with the policymakers.” He was accompanied by his fellow co-chair of the India Caucus Congressman Mike Waltz during the day-long summit.

Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Image -Twitter/@SandhuTaranjitS

During his address, the Indian Ambassador underlined the transformation India has undergone in the past decade and thanked the lawmakers for making efforts to strengthen the bilateral partnership. "We are at a cusp of a very deepening relationship between the two countries and the diaspora and the India Caucus is uniquely placed to play a very significant role," he said.

Commenting on India's rapid growth trajectory and stressing on the business to business ties between the two countries, Keshap said, "As India grows, in fact, booms and I have never seen anywhere growing as fast as India. It is clear that it is gonna help fuel not only India's prosperity, it is going to fuel America's prosperity in the 21st century."

Reflecting on his immigrant parents' struggle, Verma, the former U.S. Ambassador to India highlighted how the bilateral partnership has changed from his time in office to the present time. "Our US Indian relationship has had its ups and downs, but really over the last 23 years or so, we have been going up and not without a few dips here and there, and not without some challenging issues, but I think back to what President Eisenhower said in 1959, the first president to go to India, that if the US and India were the closest to friends, the world would be a safer place," he said.

Indian-American community leader Ajay Bhutoria addressed the summit on the H1B Visa issue, urging the leaders to remove the 7 percent country cap on visas. President of US-India Security Council, Ramesh Viswanath Kapur, spoke on NATO Plus 6 subject in length.

At the summit, USISPF’s Malachy Nugent said “The strength of the economy and India’s rich demographic dividend bodes well for American businesses to increase investments and their economic footprint in the country.”