Indo-US eco becoming interdependent: Hillary

Kolkata: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said that both India and America were becoming increasingly interdependent in the economic sphere and their strategic interests were alike.

"Our economies are increasingly interdependent. When I first visited India in 1995, trade between both the countries was USD nine billion. Today it is more than USD 100 billion," Clinton told an interactive session here.

Clinton, who was on a two-day visit to the city, said that strategic interests of both the countries were alike. "Strategic interests are alike. India is a regional and an increasing global power recognised with its economic, diplomatic and military influence," she said.

"It is good news that India is taking up more responsibilities because the international community cannot solve the problems unless all the countries work together," she said.

Referring to India`s economic reforms, Clinton said, "A lot of progress has been made and more can be done to reduce the barriers to trade and investment, reforms in manufacturing to retail could create jobs and lower consumer prices in both the countries."

"Even more importantly, for the entire integration of the Asia-Pacific region, I come from Bangladesh where there is great hope and excitement about the increasing trade and opportunities with India," Clinton said.

"Prior to that I was in China where I was building a constructive relationship not only bilaterally but among our three countries in fact … the trilateral connection among China, India and United States will be essential in the future as well," she said.

"I think because of India`s democracy, India`s stance and strong position to help the people of Burma go the way forward both with economical and political reforms," Clinton said.

"I think Kolkata is the forefront of India`s engagement … the city is sometimes called the gateway to the eastern region and increasingly India`s role will be essential," she said.

Clinton said said that there was an increase of 24 per cent in H1B work visas and more than 100,000 Indian students were currently studying in the United States. "There are so many links between us. We want to promote even more between the young people of the two countries."