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US Treasury official Wally Adeyemo says India 'leader' in digital economy

Mumbai [India], August 24: US Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Wally Adeyemo on Wednesday visited the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai's Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship start-up incubator, and said that India will continue to be a leader alongside America in the digital economy, while addressing the students and entrepreneurs.

US Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Wally Adeyemo at IIT Mumbai (Photo Credit: Twitter @TreasuryDepSec)

Taking to Twitter, Adeyemo said, "Today I toured IIT Mumbai's Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship start-up incubator. I spoke with students & entrepreneurs about how their innovations & strong US-India ties can help expand economic opportunity in both of our countries & address pressing global challenges."

Speaking at the IIT, Mumbai, US Deputy Secretary of Treasury said, "It's clear from India's recent history and conversations I've had with leaders of the public and private sectors that this country will continue to be a leader alongside America in the digital economy." "India has 560 million internet subscribers and 1.2 billion mobile phone subscribers, a massive market that will fuel innovation for years to come. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, India is digitizing at a faster rate than any other country." Adeyemo said that American businesses and consumers rely on the products and innovations developed here in India, by companies like Infosys, Mindtree, and others. "Technology and innovation are longstanding pillars of the economic relationship between our two countries. For decades, America's leading technology companies--from Apple to Intel--have tapped into India's world-leading technology talent pool, including coders and engineers trained right here at IIT Bombay," he said. "I expect in several years, American consumers will rely on some of the products created by some of the innovators I just met a few minutes ago in the innovation lab that I had a chance to visit," Adeyemo added. "What that means is that the future of the global economy will, in large part, be built here--by entrepreneurs like those of you in this room," Adeyemo said while addressing the students of IIT Bombay. He said that both countries will play pivotal roles in the next wave of technological innovation - and "it is deployed responsibly to the benefit of all segments of society - especially when our people and companies work together." "The need for innovation to address our shared challenges has never been greater: from the need for green technology to meet the urgent challenge of climate change, to 21st-century infrastructure that can meet the demands of the modern global economy, to the information technologies that proved so vital to keep us connected during the COVID-19 pandemic," the US Treasury official noted.

After meeting the entrepreneurs and students, Adeyemo said that it was great to be at the renowned IIT Bombay, and especially at the Society For Innovation and Entrepreneurship. "This incubator, and the students and entrepreneurs here today, represent the incredible dynamism of the Indian economy - a dynamism that has helped launched leading global brands and powered India's remarkable economic trajectory," he highlighted. He further said, "Looking at some of the companies that I saw today, I can tell that many of them will be the companies in the years and decades to come that will not only solve problems that will enrich their founders but will solve problems that will benefit society by helping deal with challenges like climate change or medical diseases for which we have no solution today. Doing things that allow us not only make India stronger in terms of the economy but make the world a better place going forward." "I know this is only possible because of the mentorship, the partnership, capital, and investments being made by institutions like this and students throughout India. Students, who as you mention, don't only remain in India, but also end up in the United States supporting our economy, contributing to our democracy, and making us stronger as we go forward," the US official asserted. As an American economic policymaker, Ademeyo said, "For me, who only underscores how essential the economic relationship between our two countries is and will continue to be, I am eager to discuss what comes next with respect to how we can continue to deepen the ties between our countries - India, as President Biden has said, is one of America's indispensable partners." "While here in India, I am having this conversation with leaders from your government, business sector, and civil society - and of course with entrepreneurs and students like you about the future of India and our economic and broader relationship," he added. "The timeliness of this conversation is not lost on me, particularly as India is preparing for its Presidency of the G20 in 2023," Adeyemo said adding that, as G20 President, India will have an opportunity to broaden the platform, "to which we have all been members for a long time, and to think through how we use forums like the G20 to continue to advance our shared responsibility for building a global economy that works for all of our citizens."

"Since US President Biden took office last January, the objective of a secure and prosperous world has been at the center of our work globally - and in our bilateral relationship with India." he said that through the Quad, the US and India are working with partners in Japan and Australia - and in collaboration with countries around the region - to demonstrate the shared commitment to a free, democratic, and open Indo-Pacific. "That goal of peace and stability is a prerequisite for both of our countries' continuing economic growth," he added.

"In May, US President Biden and Prime Minister Modi also joined together with leaders from almost a dozen countries representing 40 percent of the global economy in Tokyo for the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework," the US official said, adding that in part, "this Framework is geared towards harnessing the innovation that we see across the region - from IIT in Bombay to Silicon Valley - by setting high standard rules of the road on key issues like cross-border data flows and online privacy."

The Framework also aims to make sure that the dynamism in tech hubs across the Indo-Pacific is more broadly shared in the two countries to expand greater opportunities for the businesses and workers. "This Framework is also advancing important, next-generation, objectives to make our economies more resilient to the sort of global headwinds that have affected us over the last two years while addressing existential challenges like the risk of climate change," he noted. "Through this joint work, I am confident we can make both of our economies stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive," Adeyemo said. "We can reinforce our supply chains to protect against the sort of global shocks that have raised prices and idled factories in both of our countries. We can build a prosperous, fair, and competitive global economy in which Indian and American people and firms can work together and thrive. And I know you all will play an important role in this work," the US Secretary concluded.

Notably, the US Treasury official is on a three-day visit to India to hold talks on economic and security issues between the two countries. As a part of the visit, he will next travel to New Delhi for meetings that include Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, the Finance Ministry, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The Treasury official's visit comes as the United States appeared to defend India's policy choices amid the Ukraine conflict.

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