India Must Know Its Real Geopolitical Partners: Puneet Ahluwalia

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Indians have to see who their real partners are, said Puneet Ahluwalia talking about India-US trade and defence relations and the ways to improve them

Written By Jay Pandya | Mumbai | Updated On:

In an exclusive interview to Republic TV, Puneet Ahluwalia, Consultant at the Livingston Group spoke about the relations between India and the United States and how the trade relations between the two nations can be improved. He said, “Indians have to see who their real partners are.”

'Indian bureaucrats have to work closely with the USTR'

Speaking about PM Modi and US President Donald Trump’s meeting he said, “The meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi is good because each time they meet, they discuss, they get to know each other better.”

“And that’s important because there is a cultural difference in how you do business in India and how you do business in the United States. Till you are able to bridge that cultural differences and that is what both leaders have to do and I think the bureaucrats and the important thing is some really seasoned people in the Indian team to work with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) department to find a way to mitigate.”

READ | India, US optimistic to finalise trade deal; negotiations to continue

Puneet Ahluwalis's advise for a winning recipe

Further continuing, he said, “I believe you get one issue at a time and then you win one yard at a time and then you can score a home run or a touchdown. That is what we need to do.”

“Let’s find one issue where the United States and India can really show the world, they’re not only just friends, allies, but more importantly strong trade partners. I think defence and energy is a very great area where we can expand because we have the technology, we have the latest and the brightest minds and some of them are from India, lets put that all together and make a winning recipe.”

READ | US President Trump says, 'We will have a trade deal with India soon'

Expressing his views about the Indo-US defence ties and the stuck S-400 deal he said, “I think the issue here is that we are very clear, America is a very black and white country. When we do deal with things, either you are my friend or you are not, that’s very clear to understand. And that’s how it is that in some cases, we will look at, we will shake hands, we will talk to you and at the same time, we won’t shy away, as we have done with China. President Trump has been brilliant in that, he has really put the Chinese Trade and kind off chopped it all up and at the same time reducing their influence and expanding United States influence.”

“So what is important is, Indians have to see who their real partners are, is it the United States or the rest of the world? So if you think the United States is your real true partner, short term and long term, I think they just have to come through and they have to get past the bureaucratic red tape for American companies to do business.”

READ | Howdy Modi: Senator Ted Cruz presses for enhancing trade with India

India-US trade ties

India and the US have made "significant progress" on a number of trade-related issues, and both the countries are "optimistic" of reaching a kind of trade agreement in the near future. US President Donald Trump said his country will soon have a trade deal with India. “I think very soon. We are doing very well. (US Trade Representative) Robert Lighthizer who is right here negotiating with India... I think, very soon we will have a trade deal,” Trump told reporters when asked if there is any trade deal is expected between India and the US.

READ | Donald Trump accuses China over unfair trade practices at UNGA

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