At a business summit in the US, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Netherlands, Vice-President Mike Pence told the gathering that he has been invited to visit India. Speaking at the US-India Business Council’s 42nd Annual Leadership Summit, Pence said he shared a light moment with the prime minister when the later said “India ana (come visit India)”.
“In fact, I told him when I was governor of Indiana, one of my ambitions was to be the first governor from Indiana to visit India,” Pence was quoted as saying by Politico. “I didn’t get it done then, but the Prime Minister and I had a nice chuckle, because he told me that the words ‘India ana’ mean coming to India.”
Pence went on to praise PM Modi’s move to simplify India’s tax structure by introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He, however, said the country needs to do more to create the “fair and reciprocal” trade relationship. “We truly believe, with great respect, that the time to act is now,” Pence added. He hailed the meeting between President Donald Trump and PM Modi as “historic and productive”.
“President Trump recognizes that the United States’ relationship with India is one of the most important strategic relationships in the 21st century,” he said.
Pence pointed to fast-expanding US defense sales to India and added: “The United States will continue to enable the Indian armed forces to obtain the resources and technology it needs to protect the Indian people and support security in the region.”