Mrs. Kumar, Mr. Somers, Mr. Topa, General Mehta, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen. We have come to the end of a long and productive day.
As I attended the opening plenary this morning, with Deputy Secretary Sampson and Foreign Secretary Menon, as I listened to Secretary Gutierrez’s remarks, and as I heard the recommendations of the sector groups, just now, I was struck by one thought: The HTCG has come of age.
In the fall of 2002, the idea behind the HTCG was just a gleam in the eye of Ken Juster and Kanwal Sibal. These two visionaries looked at the U.S.-India economic relationship, and they saw underperformance. They saw trade and investment at a fraction of what it should be. And they asked a dangerous question: “Why”
They weren’t satisfied with the answer they received – something along the lines of “that’s just the way it is” – so they set out to identify the obstacles to a stronger relationship and begin the task of removing them.
It took a lot of heavy lifting and hard work, in government and in the private sector. Now, their vision – in the form of the HTCG – is our vision and has become woven into the fabric of the relationship.
With today’s recommendations, we have a new set of issues to work on, a new set of obstacles to overcome, and a new set of opportunities to capture.
Thank you to the participants in today’s working groups for your efforts and your recommendations. In the finest tradition of the HTCG, we’ll get started working on them right away.