Economists and business leaders have been watching India’s economic growth, and it has been declared as one of the world’s fastest emerging economies with an estimated GDP growth of 6.5% in the current fiscal year. As a result, the United States and Elon Musk himself have conducted special meetings with India’s own prime minister, Narendra Modi, to conduct a possible stronger Indo-Pacific relationship between the two. The United States opened the doors to a stronger relationship when President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden invited Modi for a state visit. This is considered one of the highest levels of diplomatic protocol the US offers to other world leaders. Modi arrived in the US on Tuesday and will remain there from June 20-24. Discussions on the table include investments and manufacturing.
An Indo-Pacific Relationship Means More Musk in India’s Future
Tesla, which was created by Elon Musk, is an efficient and sustainable electric car company that will soon be moved to areas in India as confirmed by Musk himself. Musk is one of the prominent figures and CEO’s that has openly expressed interest in developing an Indo-Pacific relationship with India. He is interested in developing a manufacturing presence in India with his Tesla sustainable car company. He recently has said that India has potential for the three pillars for the sustainable energy future: solar and wind, stationary battery packs for night energy, and electric vehicles. Musk also mentions he will be making huge investments in India. He believes that India has more prospects than any major country in the world. Musk and Tesla are one of the few American companies that wants to move manufacturing companies into India. Musk also further adds that if all goes well with Tesla being placed in India then discussion of adding Starlink to India’s rural areas will be further talked about as well.
India’s State Visit to The United States
An Indo-Pacific relationship is important for the United States in the face of China’s growing economy and influence. The United States invites India to develop this relationship through military support, security, manufacturing, and trade. Already, the US is India’s top trading partner at 130 billion dollars. This trade has seemed to flourish despite both countries’ differences. One main difference is India’s view on the Ukraine war and Russian relations. India has not yet criticized Russia for its crimes against humanity through its invasion of Ukraine which the US is strongly against. This is most likely due to India’s dependency on Russia defense imports and Moscow oil. 50% of India’s defense imports comes from Russia, and India continuously depends on crude oil from Russia as well.
Why Is There So Much Opposition to China?
Another common trade partner, China comes to light in this new US-India relation. China’s views on politics and international affairs don’t align with international law. China has continuously shown opposition to democracy, human rights, and international affairs with its acts of inhumane treatment in its country. This is concerning to every country, so top economies like the US yand India are coming together to discuss these issues as well as deepening manufacturing and trading relationships.
A lot of what China is doing is in violation of international law and norms; India disagrees with much of these actions. This is even while India and China have a strong trading relationship. In 2022, the trade between China and India reached an all time high of 135.98 billion dollars and this overturned the mark last year of 125 billion dollars. China’s exports to India totaled a revenue of 118.5 billion dollars a year, an increase of 21.7 percent. India’s exports to China increased by 34.28 percent, an increase of 28.04 billion dollars in 2021.
A stronger Indo-Pacific relationship involving the US essentially is trying to stop China from its continued crackdown against pro-democracy movements, systemic oppression of ethnic minorities, sexual violence against women, and other crimes against humanity. The US hopes as they deepen their economical and diplomatic relationship China’s influence in the economic world will lower. China has also not shown support for international law as for one their agreed upon CO2 reduction targets has seen to be highly insufficient and coal production has in fact increased instead of decreasing. This is another reason China is so concerning to top countries. China is simply doing what they want instead of following international order and norms.
Due in part to all of China’s chaos, these actions have moved India and the US to deepen their economic and diplomatic relationship. Musk and many more CEO’s have been watching and praising India’s work on moving towards prosperity in their economy. India has moved independently without much help from the United States which again has been admired and praised by the United States. India is also not shy in its wants in the US market, so we will see what happens next for this Indo-Pacific relationship.
Results of A Stronger Indo-Pacific Relationship
If relations become engrossed between India and the US then this would have a positive effect globally and for both economies. It would not only advance a free and open Indo-Pacific trade, but also build connections within and beyond regions, drive regional prosperity, bolster Indo-Pacific security, and build regional resilience to transnational threats. This is all according to the United States’ Indo-Pacific Strategy (2022).