WASHINGTON: The Indian-American community has an important role to play in strengthening Indo-US ties, Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh said, underlining that people-to-people contact is a key dimension of the bilateral relationship.
“I think, what gives a real, solid and fundamental basis to the (India-US) relationship is the people-to-people dimension of the relationship,” Mr Singh told members of the Indian American community in Cleveland and those attending Republican National Convention in Washington at a reception hosted in his honour.
At present there are 3.5 million Indian-Americans in the US and they are all over the US. There are 110,000 Indian-origin doctors in the US, he said, adding that recent statistics show that every seventh patient in the US is seen by an Indian doctor.
Forty per cent of the all hotel rooms in the US are owned and managed by people of Indian-origin, generating USD 13 billion to the US economy, he said.
Not only this, every year about 140,000 Indian students come to the US for higher studies bringing is about USD 4.5 billion to the US economy, he said.
“So it’s a huge engagement with US institutions,” Singh said at the reception hosted by Indian-American Forum for Political Education headed by Dr Sampat Shivangi, an eminent Republican from Mississippi.
Referring to the number of meetings he had in Cleveland with the top leadership of the Republican party on the sidelines of its convention, he said this reflects their interest in India-US relationship.
“I believe all of you will have an important role to play in contributing to this. All of you in a sense are permanent Ambassadors here. You have an understanding of the US. You have an understanding of India and Indian society. So based on this understanding and the network that you have you will be in a position to take forward this relationship in different areas,” Mr Singh said.
Dr Shivangi said there is a very positive momentum on India US relationship, in particularly after the recent visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Referring to the Republican platform passed by early this week, India-US relationship would strengthen further and reach a new height under the next Republican president.
India-US relationship has a bipartisan support and would deepen further if the party is voted to power to the White House coming November, he said.
Dr Shivangi, a delegate to the Republican National Convention, has been organising a reception for the Indian Ambassador for the last three conventions.
“This is an effort to honour the Indian Ambassador and establish relationship between the Indian Government and the community,” he said.