Washington: United States' Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday reassured that the US is the "reliable partner" that India needs, adding that the two countries have the responsibility to "do the needful".
"US and India don't just share affinity for democracy, but have a vision for the future. It is time to double down on a democratic partnership with an India that's still rising, and rising responsibly for the next 100 years. US has chosen wisely in terms of India as a strategic partner. India needs a reliable partner, and the United States is that partner," he said, while delivering his remarks on "Defining Our Relationship with India for Next Century" here.
Discussing the importance of developing the Indo-Pacific region into one of peace and stability, Tillerson said that India and the US need to serve as eastern and western beacons, so that it does not become a region of disorder, conflict and predatory economics.
On the financial front, Tillerson projected that Asia's GDP will surpass 50 percent in the coming years, adding that it is important for the US to capitalise on its relations. However, he also said that it is important for emerging democracies and economies to have alternatives for infrastructure investment. With emphasis on China, Tillerson drew attention to infrastructure investments and financing, saying not enough jobs were being created amidst increasing debt burdens.
Tillerson also said India needs to constantly work on its economic reforms, and laid emphasis on getting economic partnerships right and enhancing regional connectivity, thereby presenting more options for sustainable development.
"India has witnessed a number of economic reforms in the recent past. However, it is easy to implement what is needed and sit back. But what needs to be noted is that you're never done, as the world around keeps changing. There is a need to have a better business environment for both domestic and foreign companies to invest in. It is also important to choose your partner wisely," he said.
"While India is suffering from restricted access to technology, exchange of technologies and ideas between Bengaluru and the Silicon Valley is changing the world," he added.
Tillerson, who will be visiting New Delhi next week, said the visit "could not come at a more promising time for US-India relationships". He also said the US-India '2 plus 2' inaugural dialogue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is much-anticipated.
Hailing India as an example of a "democratic, diverse and pluralistic" economy amid growing global terrorism, Tillerson said the two countries must enhance multilateral efforts through greater cooperation in the maritime domain, cyber security and humanitarian assistance, along with increasing convergence, thus offering the Indo-Pacific region an opportunity to expand rule- based global system.
"India has been rising significantly in the recent past, and so has China. However, the manner in which the growth has taken place is different, and our relations with the two countries are also different. India has grown taking into account its neighbors as well. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had said the two largest democracies should have the two greatest militaries, and I couldn't agree more. India and the US should be in the business of strengthening others' capacity to protect their sovereignty," said Tillerson.
He also used the platform to extend his greetings to Indians on the occasion of Diwali.