As is customary, closed door briefings were organised for the delegation with the US Ambassador and key ministries of the Government of India before their departure for the US.
Breakfast Session with US Ambassador to India
Ambassador of the United States to India, Ken Juster, welcomed the delegation for a breakfast briefing that is an integral component of the pre-departure preparations of the delegation. The Ambassador mentioned that that the visit would happen close on the heels of the first edition of the 2+2 Dialogue that was scheduled to be organised on 6 September 2018.
He expressed appreciation for the truly bipartisan representation of the Indian Parliament in the delegation. He congratulated FICCI for its ongoing initiative of track two diplomacy through the Forum of Parliamentarians, which he believed was a great way to supplement the wide-ranging engagement between India and the US and strengthen the connect between elected representatives on either side. The Ambassador welcomed the sectoral focus for the 2018 delegation and confessed that he was a great sports enthusiast. The media and entertainment and sports sectors held immense promise for India.
Ambassador Juster highlighted the priorities of the US government for its partnership with India. Touching upon trade and investment ties, he mentioned that economic exchanges are not a 'zero sum' game today and both are mutually reinforcing. He highlighted technology and innovation as a very important facet of cooperation and emphasized ongoing cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism and strategic partnership for Asia Pacific. The discussion also touched upon the emerging shape of the multilateral trading system, prioritizing social welfare, UN Security Council, FTA with the US.
In keeping with tradition, on arrival in Washington D.C., the delegation called on the Indian Ambassador to the US, Amb Navtej Sarna as the first interaction in D.C. for a thorough grounding on the Indian perspective on strategic and bilateral issues that may come up during the meetings in D.C.