Kolkata, May 5 (PTI) US Consul General Melinda Pavek Thursday said that bilateral ties between India and America are for mutual benefit in the fields of trade, investment, public health and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
Speaking at an interactive session organised by Merchants Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, the Kolkata-based US envoy said that the two countries have entered the 75th year of diplomatic relation and being the largest democracies in the world, it is imperative for them to meet the global challenges of the world.
She said US cooperation with India will strengthen security and prosperity as the world depends on the two countries' ties on global challenges like the pandemic and cyber security.
"The two natural partners are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations. The multifaceted ties which the two countries share is not an overstatement. In the field of education the number of Indian students in US has doubled in the last decade. The number of student visas will see a rise in the coming days", she added.
The envoy said it is the aim of US to expand trade and investment ties by reducing market barriers which will lead to market access. "In 2001 the volume of bilateral trade was USD 20 billion, which has increased to USD 113 billion in 2021. US is the biggest source of FDI in India and supports more than five lakh jobs. Indian FDI in the US is around USD 12.7 billion supporting 70,000 jobs in America", Pavek stated.
Regarding Free Trade Agreement between US and India, she said this is under the purview of US Trade Representative (USTR) office. The USTR representative visited Delhi in late 2021 and had extensive discussions on how to increase trade.
Pavek said the Consul General's office in Kolkata had worked with the civil society to fight human trafficking in the east and north east India.
"We are also working towards their rehabilitation and repatriation", she added.