India-US Summit a momentous occasion: Pradhan


New Delhi: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday described the Summit level meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump as a momentous occasion for India-US bilateral relations.

Speaking at an event here today, he said that both the leaders have once again emphasized the importance of further strengthening the energy pillar of the bilateral strategic partnership.

The event “India-US Business Story: Opportunity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship” was jointly organized by CII, USIBC, Ananta Centre and Indiaspora with a focus on energy cooperation between India and the US.

Pradhan said that the high importance attached to the energy component of the bilateral engagement is rather evident from positive developments during the last three years under the India-US strategic energy partnership. 

He said, “The US emerging as the 6th largest source for crude oil imports, is a significant development. India is also now the 4th largest export destination for US crude. Our LNG imports from the US are also increasing progressively ever since the imports started in March 2018. India is now the 5th largest destination of US exports of LNG.”

The Minister said that India’s bilateral hydrocarbon trade has increased exponentially during the last three years, and it touched the US $7.7 billion marks last year, accounting for 11% of total two-way trade.

These developments are reflective of a new and emerging dynamic between the two countries.

“Both Secretary Dan Brouillette and I have agreed that there is a need now to develop industry-level engagements for technology infusions as well as investment partnerships in the energy sector. Yesterday, Secretary Brouillette and I reviewed the ongoing strategic energy partnership.  We are planning the next Ministerial meeting of the Strategic Energy Partnership in April this year for deepening engagements at government and industry channels.”, he added.

Pradhan said that our vision of becoming a gas-based economy is yet another area of close collaboration between India and the US.

In this connection, the India-US Gas Task Force constituted in 2018 under the Strategic energy Partnership is doing pioneering work. The Task Force is providing innovative policy recommendations to expedite the development of a gas-based economy in India.