Interaction with US Ambassador Kenneth I Juster at the Vivekananda International Foundation, 31 Aug 2018
Welcome Remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF during the

Dear friends,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome His Excellency, Ambassador Kenneth I Juster to the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) for a closed door interaction with the select audience. We are grateful to you, Excellency, for finding time from your busy timing to visit the VIF.

Excellency, VIF is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to policy research on issues of foreign policy, national security, international relations, governance, economy, history and culture. The Foundation is named after Swami Vivekananda, who, as you know believed in the inherent strength of ancient Hindu culture and civilisation and a resurgent India even when it was under colonial rule. Swami Vivekananda shot to eminence with his speech in Chicago in Sep 1893 at the Parliament of World Religions.

We have had in the past, the privilege of welcoming your predecessor to the VIF on several occasions. We are honoured by your presence today. We hope that our interaction will continue in the future as well.

Ambassador Juster, a graduate of Harvard Law School and John Kennedy School of Governance, was US Under Secretary of Commerce from 2001 to 2005 when he oversaw the issues at the intersection of business and national security. He co-founded and served as the US Chair of US-India High-Technology Cooperation Group and was instrumental in operationalising the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership between US and India which eventually led to the historic US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement.

Indo-US relationship has been transformed in the aftermath of the Civil Nuclear Agreement. Geo-political and regional environment has changed dramatically. The emergence of the concept of Indo-Pacific has imparted a new logic to Indo-US relations. Both countries are also participating in other formats including the Quadrilateral formation of India, US, Japan and Australia. Next week the much awaited 2+2 Indo-US Dialogue will be held in New Delhi. This will provide an opportunity to both countries to come up with new initiatives to take strategic partnership to higher level.

The world is witnessing the rise of protectionism. There is palpable tension amongst leading countries on the issues of trade and investments. In the backdrop of current global economic and trade environment, it will be interesting to hear from Ambassador Juster how the US views Indo-US economic relations, which are as strategic in nature as defence and security relationship. We are glad that Ambassador Juster is vising the VIF a few days before the 2+2 Dialogue. This will help us understand the US to approach to Indo-US relations.

I invite Ambassador Juster for his remarks.

Thank You.

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