US-India partnership can shape up India’s digital economy: Government


NEW DELHI – The new US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) that was announced on Wednesday can shape up the Indian digital payment and economy sector and help the GDP grow, a top government official said here.

“India’s digital economy stands at 15 per cent and it has the potential to increase the GDP growth of the country more than others. This strategic partnership will be a game changer in this sector,” Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary Department of Telecommunications, told reporters here.

“It will also have a great impact on digital payment because we work with a lot of US companies in this area,” she added.

Sundararajan said the government was laying 500,000 kilometres of optic fibre to connect rural areas to the Internet and half of it has already been completed.

She added that it will become operational by the end of this year.

The Secretary pointed out that the new US-India partnership can play a part in this area too in order to bring more Indian villages within the networking zones.

She added that the digital partnership demonstrates synergies between the US and India for what it has accomplished.

“We have seen seamless integration in silicon valley between the US technology companies and India,” Sundararajan said.

Cyber Security Coordinator at Prime Minister’s Office Gulshan Rai said as part of the sound and strategic partnership, both the countries need to work on security as the cyber attacks can happen in either of the countries.

“Digital transactions is growing tremendously in India and it’s expected to double by the end of this year. As such the issue of cyber security becomes paramount. So this strategic operation is going to play an important role here,” Rai said.

To deepen business ties between India and the US, the USISPF was set up on Wednesday.

According to the Executive Chairman of Cisco John Chambers, the USISPF would help build stronger and meaningful business relations between the two countries.

“What you see now is a potential of strategic partnership between two countries to be the model for the rest of the world,” the Cisco Executive Chairman said.

“It’s mission is to see how to get economic growth, startup growth, and get innovation, entrepreneurism and benefit society,” he added.

Chambers termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative as a model for the rest of the world, and said the initiative is a comprehensive framework.

“Digital India initiative has the ability to be inclusive in terms of how education, smart cities and health sector will change,” Chambers said.

USISPF will work closely with businesses and government leaders to achieve the goal of driving economic growth, job creation, innovation, inclusion and entrepreneurship.

Chambers said Modi’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in June was successful.

“I am a huge believer in your country and your Prime Minister. India has grown faster than any other country in the last three years and is now known as one of the leading innovators,” Chambers said.

“Our two countries will be able to make great strides in the months to come and USISPF is honoured to be a part of this exciting future,” he added.



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