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U.S. Secretary of State – Visits Vibrant Gujarat Summit India

The “Movers and the Shakers of the World” are making their presence known at
the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in India (scheduled 11th-13th January 2015)

Read Out from the U.S. Secretary of State:

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar
Gujarat, India

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. I want to begin by thanking Prime Minister Modi for his very generous welcome here to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. And I particularly am grateful to him for the personal engagement, for the thorough discussion that we had on issues in the bilateral relationship, as well as for the preparation for President Obama’s visit here. And I’m very grateful for the focus and critical thinking that he brought to this discussion over the last day-and-a-half.

It’s a pleasure for me to be back in India less than six months after leading our strategic dialogue in New Delhi. I’m particularly grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in as energized and, literally, vibrant discussion as that which has been taking place here with so many businesses and partners engaged in this dialogue. It’s a pleasure for me to be able to visit the State of Gujarat, which has a very special significance to Indians, is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and today, the home state of the Prime Minister.

During the past two days, I’ve been able to meet with a lot of CEOs. I’ve met with many American CEOs today, I met with a lot of Indian CEOs yesterday, and others, and many women entrepreneurs. And I witnessed firsthand our — the reality of this transformation that has taken place in a visit that I just made this morning to the Ford Plant, the Ford Motor Plant. I also had productive discussions with Prime Minister Modi and his team as we prepare for President Obama’s visit to India later this month. And I know the President is very excited about being the first United States president to be honored as the chief guest during Republic Day commemorations, and also the first sitting American president to visit India twice while in office.

And I think — we think — I know he does, and I do — we share the belief that that fact, this second visit, after the very successful visit of the Prime Minister to Washington, really says a lot about the value that both countries place on the criticality of our relationship.

For the Indian people and the American people there is a sense of shared excitement and possibility. Over nearly 30 years of working on these issues, I can tell you that I’ve seen the ups and downs of our relationship. I think, as a Senator in the 1990s, I brought the first Senate-led trade mission here. And at that time I met with a Finance Minister Singh. And the reforms were just taking place. And I’ve seen, personally, the incredible transformation that has taken place since then.

What has become very clear is that this is a moment when the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy are really finally beginning to capitalize on our connections to one another, and on the promises that we have been talking about for some period of time.

During my discussions with Prime Minister Modi and with other Indian officials, we reviewed the progress of our economic relationship. We also reviewed the steps necessary to take it to the next level. I know many of you have heard talk about the promise of this relationship for many years. As I’ve said, I’ve heard it myself. But the fact is that now it is really being implemented. And we are beginning to break through on the kinds of things that are necessary to accelerate economic investment in both ways. One of them is for governments to have an attitude that is open and ready to embrace these kinds of decisions, and to move for them.

I think the Ford Motor Company is spending $1 billion to turn its new auto plant here in Gujarat into a regional manufacturing plant. You couldn’t have a more graphic statement about this transformation than that. Indian investment in the United States has grown from just over 300 million to 9 billion, and U.S. investment in India has risen from 2.4 billion to 28 billion. So, the facts are speaking to the reality of this change that is taking place.

Obviously, we can do more to enhance this economic relationship, and we intend to continue, both of us, to work at those instruments and those decisions, those choices that can help to make that happen.

The Prime Minister and I also discussed challenges that, if solved, do have an ability to take our
relationship even further. Yesterday I had the privilege of addressing the opening ceremony of the Vibrant Gujarat and the CEO Conclave with Prime Minister Modi, and I spoke at some length about climate change and energy, clean energy, particularly, because it offers an enormous amount of economic opportunity to all of our people, both of our countries.

Having already met with Prime Minister Modi now three times during his tenure, I know that the Prime Minister not only understands, but is committed to policies which will deal with climate change. And that’s why he has already announced ambitious plans to scale up India’s renewable power programs. And it is why also, when he was the governor, when he was running the State of Gujarat, he took steps then to implement some climate change policies.

It’s also why we’ve had the ability to have a good cooperative relationship on these issues, including our ongoing research and deployment partnership on clean energy, and work to support the Prime Minister’s vision of supplying 24/7 power to the poorest communities of India. The President and the Prime Minister has a very ambitious plan to try to make sure that every home in India is going to have electricity within a specific period of time. We believe there is a great deal that we could do to work together to achieve that very important goal.

And we hope to expand these programs in the coming months. And we are committed to working with India to reach a landmark climate change agreement in Paris at the end of this year. And I know this will be a topic of President Obama’s conversation with the Prime Minister, and a focus of the conversations that will take place, as well as the defense agreement, as well as the civil nuclear agreement, as well as the economic partnership. So those are four very specific areas where we know we want to try to make some progress.

We are also working together to safeguard maritime security, freedom of navigation, and overflight throughout the region.

And we are strengthening our partnership to combat terrorism, piracy, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

And we are committed to deepening the regional dialogue on key political and security issues.
For both India and the United States, investing in each others success is, frankly, in both of our interests. It is really a smart, strategic bet for both countries. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, and I, all of us, came to India during Prime Minister Modi’s first 100 days in office. It is no coincidence that I am now back in India so early in his tenure, or that President Obama will be back here, the first President of the United States to visit India twice while sitting in office.

We are all invested in this relationship because we recognize what this moment offers to us, but also what it demands of us. And as we continue to deepen our partnership and transform how we collaborate, I am convinced that India and the United States will create a healthier, more secure, and more prosperous future, and not just for one another, but, indeed, be able to have an impact on policies that will affect the world.

Before I take your questions, let me just say a quick word, if I may, about our good friends in France. As soon as I heard about the plans for the march that took place yesterday, I asked my team to figure out what the earliest is that I could travel to Paris in order to show, once again, to reaffirm the connection between the United States and our oldest ally. And so, I will be traveling there on Thursday, and be there Friday, part of Friday. And I want to emphasize that the relationship with France is not about one day or one particular moment. It’s an ongoing, long-time relationship that is deeply, deeply based in the shared values, and particularly the commitment that we share in freedom of expression.

And, as I said on the first day, and as the President said on the first day that these terrible events took place, it will take — no single act of terror, no two people with AK-47s, no hostage-taking in a grocery store is ever going to prevent those who are committed to the march for freedom to continue to march and to ultimately see all people enjoy their rights, and to be able to share the protections that come with that freedom.

The President and our Administration have been coordinating very, very closely with the French on FBI matters, intel, law enforcement across the board, and we will continue to make available any assistance that may be necessary. For the United States, that relationship is a constant, and it is ongoing. And I look forward to having a chance to share thoughts with my friends in France personally, when I get there.

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