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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Readout of Recent Trip to India

Reta Jo Lewis
Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs 

Washington, DC
August 18, 2011

Date: 08/18/2011 Location: Washington, DC Description: Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of State, updating journalists on her recent trip to India. - State Dept Image

2:00 P.M. EDT

MODERATOR: Welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Thank you guys for joining us today. We’re very pleased to have with us Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis, and she’s going to update us on her recent trip to India. And without further ado, I will turn it over to her.

MS. LEWIS: Thank you so much. Good afternoon. I’m really delighted to be able to be here at the Foreign Press Center today to brief you about the tremendous opportunity that we had on a two-week visit across India. I want to start out by saying that we thank the Foreign Press Center for putting this opportunity together, and we also thank our Embassy and the team in India for effectively (inaudible) with their assistance.

In the Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs, we have been working with governors, mayors, city and county officials, tribal governments, and state and local organizations to form connections across regions on issues of common concern. And we’ve been very successful in forging relationships in Brazil, China, Nigeria, and next week I’ll be traveling to South Africa.

As the notice said, two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to begin an effort in India for state-to-state engagements. And I traveled to the state and capitals of New Delhi. I then traveled on to Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra.

We had the opportunity, working in conjunction with my Embassy and the chargé d’affaires there, Peter Burleigh, and our consulates throughout India – we had the opportunity to meet with chief ministers, mayors, business leaders, university administrators, and other local elected officials. And so we engaged with these representatives in a host of topics, which we believe are mutual concerns with – mutual interests with their counterparts here in the United States. The issues that came to be a lot of the central themes were, of course, around issues of trade and investment, issues of reconstruction and development, educational issues, science, and technology.

This engagement that we launched a couple of weeks ago was designed to build off of the momentum for bilateral engagement that was advanced by Secretary Clinton when she returned from the second round of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, where she was with her counterpart, Minister Krishna from the MEA. And so it is within the spirit of that visit that we used this effort to do follow-up work and travel throughout the states of India.

We used the meetings with the India state and local officials – as an opportunity to learn and to listen as to where they view partnership opportunities and collaboration opportunities would be with their peers here in the U.S. And so throughout those reoccurring themes, we had the opportunity to visit with the different ministers throughout those states who had responsibilities for ports, also for tourism.

There was a significant amount of discussion throughout each state about education collaborations and education collaboration not at the typical – where you would hear them at the universities that we all talk about, but really at the collaborations with community college, vocational, and technical schools. And as you know, in the U.S. a lot of those community colleges and technical and vocational schools have great – have a great deal of support from the state governments and the local governments.

We had the opportunity to visit with the Ministry of External Affairs at the central government, the Ministry of Rural Development, and the Ministry of Micro, Medium – Small and Medium Enterprises. And so we had the unique opportunity to learn firsthand what – as we were collaboratively looking at the – of the type of engagement that we’re going to be doing in India.

All of the ministries discussed significantly the responsibilities of assisting the young people, of which we know that there are over 300 million in the ages of 12-24. We also know that it is a very major topic of conversation about the training and the collaborations that could be done with our vocational schools, because it’s all about creating jobs, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to a U.S. official or whether you’re talking to an Indian official; job creation and skill development is of paramount importance.

And so we did have opportunities to engage with nongovernmental organizations, and we can also get Foreign Press Center to give you a few more of those just so that you can see the types and breadth of individuals, of which there were numerous ones. Several, of course, like Dr. Samanta, who runs the KISS program and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, where that institute is educating over 10,000 tribal children. We had also an opportunity to speak with speakers of the house in Kerala where we also engaged about state-to-state, legislator-to-legislator engagement also.

So as you can see we were – and then business leaders were exceptionally important for us because we also understand that when our U.S. leaders travel and when chief ministers and others travel from India, that the business community is exceptionally important. So we had an opportunity to visit through each state with CII, FICCI, with our Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, and our AMCHAMs, as well as our India-U.S. Business Council members. And so we met with the heads of those organizations, we met with many of their members, and they were talking about – and we saw the enthusiastic response from them understanding that there could be serious, mutually beneficial partnerships that could be built in – during the visits of whether it’s a U.S. official or an Indian official.

And so connecting state leaders in the U.S. and India is our main goal in the Office of (inaudible) for the Secretary. And during those connections, we understand that the people-to-people exchanges that have occurred between U.S. and India are really the bedrock of our relationship. And with Secretary Clinton’s vision of 21st century diplomacy of how we can bring many more leaders and organizations and others to participate in the support of our foreign policy, we understand that when you work with U.S. and India leaders at the state-to-state level, it will continue to help all of our – both of our nations and continue to broaden and deepen our bilateral ties.

And so it was with that spirit that we were able to be in India and received very well, and we are now in our own process of our next steps.

And with that, I’ll open it up for questions.

MODERATOR: Just a reminder that before you ask your question, make sure you state your name and your media organization. We’ll start with Lalit.

QUESTION: Lalit Jha from Press Trust of India. You mentioned about the education sector and the increasing collaboration between the two countries. One hundred thousand Indian students studying in the U.S., and one of the greatest concern for Indian parents and Indians right now are the manner in which the large number of Indian students have been deceived by educational institutions in the U.S. As you know, the Tri-Valley University, or of late, there was University of Northern Virginia.

How are you addressing that question, and why isn’t the State Department able to figure it out at the consulate level itself when they issue the visa? When a university is being authorized only 50 visas, 50 students, why is that consulate issuing more than 1,500 visas for that one particular educational institution?

MS. LEWIS: As I stated while I was in India, the Department of Homeland Security has the lead on the issues surrounding the students’ visa situation at those universities. Of course, the State Department is very concerned about those, and we look to our colleagues at Homeland Security to handle those matters.

I will tell you that as it relates to – we do see a imbalance. There are over a hundred thousand Indian students studying in the U.S.; there are only 3,000 U.S. students studying in India. And so I’m not sure whether you’re aware, but during the Secretary’s visit, they announced the Passport to India. And through the Passport to India project, it really is geared toward U.S. students to encourage the students, professors, faculty, and others to be more focused and targeted about studying and training in India. We hope that with this effort, that will be further discussed during the first-ever U.S.-India Education Summit that’s going to take place in October in Georgetown, that it is an opportunity that a wide, a very, very, very wide and broad group of educational leaders and academics and young people will be coming to really talk about – further about how we move more aggressively to interest more U.S. students.

And working with the private sector is going to be critical in that, because the program is really designed for students to spend from one-month to six-month period in India.

QUESTION: Ms. Lewis, Aziz Haniffa with India Abroad and As a follow-up to Lalit’s question, you mentioned this and even Secretary Robert Blake has mentioned this – all these grandiose plans for U.S.-India education collaboration, et cetera – but coming back to his question, while this is being discussed as part of the strategic dialogue and education to form a huge component, this whole issue, which has caught this whole deception, if you call it, and then there are allegations that some of the students may be gaming the system too, that they may be aware of what’s going on, they may be doing all kinds of – doesn’t this poison the whole well of this component of the strategic dialogue, which is supposed to be a huge, integral part of it? Because clearly, when 50 I-20s are issued and then at the consulate itself, those students are given documentation, and 1,500 students are here and 2,000 students are in limbo now at Northern Virginia Community --

MS. LEWIS: As I said, I can’t speak to address that question. That is a question for our consular affairs, who is definitely handling that with the different consulates. All I can continue to emphasize is the fact that the students, whether they’re Indian students or U.S. students, matter a great deal to us because of our people-to-people ties. We understand that it is very important, and we recognize that all of the people that we engaged at the state level want to see more collaborations between universities throughout the United States and colleges and technical schools throughout the United States. And we see some leaders that are getting ready to go to India who have good best practices models. We understand specifically that Governor Martin O’Malley has a team right now in India, and I know that they’re looking at university and community college collaborations.

When we were in Nagpur, there is – John Hopkins University, which is in Maryland, has a major agreement to collaborate in some fashion with universities there in that whole development area of Nagpur. So we are encouraged when we see a leader like the State of Maryland governor, and there will be others, and those announcements should be coming soon. But I specifically spoke with the governor’s team and the governor, and they are – university targets are very important to them.

I do believe that during the education summit, a whole host of issues are going to be placed on the table. I will tell you that because of the peer-to-peer exchange, because of the state-to-state engagements, a lot of those relationships happen at that governor/mayor level. And we believe that the effort of being able to understand that the interest and commitment is there on the India side, and we believe that we will see the same on the U.S. side because our U.S. leaders and their educational institutions are all looking to collaborate in a mutual way to be beneficial. They want to see U.S. students go to India and receive the students that are here.

QUESTION: My name is Hamukh Shah from Business Times. I’m very happy with the optimism expressed by your visit to India, and so are the leaders both of India and USA about bilateral business relations.

But unfortunately, this morning, Washington Post has given a report on India, and the last paragraph is a little bit disturbing. The Congress Party, the ruling party – major ruling party, they have criticized the U.S. stand on the peaceful (inaudible) the government, that the demonstrations should be allowed to – peaceful basis, the way U.S. has been telling some other countries, those where there is so much government opposition to the peaceful demonstration – so what do you think – what do you have to say about that?

MS. LEWIS: What I – (laughter) – what I will say about that is that when we were in India, we not only spoke to the people in the state government; we also met with leaders in the opposition party, and we can give to her the exact ones that we met with. And we still continue to see encouragement on the state-to-state, the level of engagement. The states have specific plans of areas of focus, whether you’re talking about solid waste management, whether you’re talking about disaster preparedness, whether you’re talking about issues of travel and tourism. How do we interest more U.S. officials to come to their state? How do you interest more U.S. officials to move beyond New Delhi and Mumbai and to go out and see the wealth of interests and the wealth that – of relationships that can be developed, primarily – largely too because we have very large diaspora communities. We understand that throughout the U.S., each one of them talked about the diaspora community. It is – there is a source of pride. If you are from Kerala, there are Keralinians in the U.S. If you’re from Andhra Pradesh, there are Andhra Pradesh diaspora here in the U.S. And it’s state after state after state that we live in.

And we heard, I think, very positively from each official that they want to see targeted engagements, they need to see specific engagements, they need to see engagements that lead to investment and for job creation. And so when I talk to my leaders that we’ve been working with now for over a year and a half, it’s the same conversation. People are moving beyond the handshake and the photo, and they’re looking at how do you develop comprehensive opportunities at that level whereby there is follow-up action, there is – goes beyond just the MOU, but to get down to business and to work.

And we saw that – we heard in one state they’re coming over to do a tourism tour. We understand our Embassy is going to be – and from the tourism perspective, we will be assisting them, working with the India Embassy and consulates to look at our national model that comes out of the Department of Commerce, who runs tourism. And our states are now the models for tourism and travel because they’re trying to interest you. They have that competitiveness spirit. They’re almost just like the Indian states have the competitiveness spirit. And so it doesn’t matter which issue. We understand that there are best practices models throughout our different associations that focus on municipal government. And we see a lot of opportunity for collaboration and exchange.

MODERATOR: Can we go to the next question? We have New York on the line. Let me just check with them to make sure they don’t – there’s no questions.

MODERATOR: Okay. New York, do you have any questions?

STAFF: No, we have no questions. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hi. Ashish Sen with Outlook Magazine. Can you speak a little bit about the significance of your itinerary while in India, the states that you picked to visit, and any projects in the pipeline that materialized while you were there?

MS. LEWIS: We do understand – let’s start with in terms of the selection of state. Throughout the visits of all, we discussed President Obama’s National Export Initiative. In part, what came about was through our embassies and consulates, of putting together the states and localities and municipalities where opportunities could exist. I will tell you that those opportunities that came out of that targeting were very much similar to the targets of – whether it’s CII or FICCI. And as the two leading nonprofit business organizations for India, we went to meeting after meeting not only with them, but also with U.S.-India Business Council and AMCHAMs. In all of those states, each one, state after state, had different levels of opportunities that we want to be able to come back and educate our leaders here in the U.S., along with our other colleagues in Commerce, along with our colleagues in Export Bank and OPIC and TDA, all those officials who went with Secretary Clinton during the strategic dialogue.

So it is not just about what – it’s about going – it’s going both ways. It’s about – not just about what we can do here, but what they can do also in the United States. And so the selection of those communities and municipalities and leaders that we visited were okayed in our consulates’ areas. We think that it will – we saw firsthand the ability of deepening our relationship. We saw firsthand the opportunities to continue to educate American leaders and educate America’s business; that there are a wealth of opportunities, yet we know there are challenges, and they talked about a lot of those challenges.

But we also know that there is a wealth of opportunities throughout those areas. We learned while we were there that our Embassy is going to be engaging in 2012 a port authority trade delegation. They’re putting together, I think, about 20 port officials to come to India to look at and for opportunities of exchange, best practices, investment opportunities, business opportunities, economic development opportunities. The leading trend right now is that – and engagements now is between port to port and airport to airport. And we see the opportunity and the need for American port authorities, officials, and business to be more engaged on the port side, because there’s a great deal of economic development that’s going to be going on throughout that infrastructure.

We were glad to hear that that was taking place because we learned that most U.S. port authority figures have not really been there. And so for the embassy and the consulate to be preparing a visit early next year, for port authority figures to – leading figures to come engage with their colleagues, we were very excited about. And we then had the opportunities to look at them, to go to the ports and talk to the port authority leaders in some of the different states about their needs. And we kept hearing the same issue: Americans – we want to see more Americans participating in the expansion and development of our port, as well as their metro, as well as their airports. And so we were delighted to hear that our embassy and consulates are planning those types of return visits.

QUESTION: May I follow up?

MS. LEWIS: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is there a significant jobs component to this kind of relationship, the infrastructure that – you talked about ports specifically for the U.S. --

MS. LEWIS: Say that again?

QUESTION: Is there a significant jobs component to this? Does this bring with it a significant number of U.S. jobs if projects materialize?

MS. LEWIS: I can’t really specifically speak to that, but I think that as agreements and as relationships begin to be developed, as opportunities begin to be developed, those state and municipal leaders will be able to outline what that will look like. And I will tell you that when you’re dealing with people, whether it’s Governor O’Malley and others, they are very targeted about their opportunities, and for their state. And I think that as we move forward into this, we will – I will have to leave it to those leaders to make those types of projections.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you, ma’am. Raghubir Goyal, India Globe and Asia Today. My question is you have been at that major U.S.-India Business Council 35th anniversary. What role they are playing? And also, sometime they’ve been complaining about their members as far as visa for India is concerned. My question is here: How about visa from India to here – do you need – is there a need to increase in the U.S. visas for Indian students or for Indian businesses coming to the U.S. for business related issues?

And also, finally, as far as that university issue is concerned, did you see anything after talking to the state or federal or central officials there that now less confidence in the Indian students coming to the U.S.?

MS. LEWIS: You know, going back to the issue about the U.S.-India Business Council, we saw nothing but eagerness on the part of – whether it was the council, the AmCham, or the Indian Chamber of Commerce, CII, FICCI and others, understanding that in – Ithere is a great deal of work that – and a need for collaboration to take place at the state-to-state level.

As it related to visa, that is not something for – on the business side that really came up in our conversation. What they were really focused on was educating us, one, not only about opportunities but also in – and talking about the challenges, but just talking to us about how state and municipal leaders can be more successful when they travel to India.

And we were talking to them about how we believe Indian officials could be more successful in terms of traveling to the U.S. as they seek opportunities across the board, whether it’s educational opportunities or trade and investment opportunities. And largely, what came out of that was that having a more strategic focus, sectorial visits, would be helpful. We will educate our leaders that our Embassy are there, can be a one-stop shop, that everybody is there, whether it’s USDA or from Agriculture, whether it’s Department of Commerce, whether it’s – you name it – all the officials are there.

We had an opportunity to engage with those officials, and they are the resource for our U.S. leaders. We had a chance to talk with the deputy chief minister over here, Mr. Singh, before we left, to let him know that in the office that I work for the Secretary, that we would serve as a resource, a facilitator, a connector for him, as he saw his municipal leaders and chief ministers and others coming to the U.S., so we would be able to work very closely with their consulates.

And so we wanted to see the breadth of what we thought the opportunities would be. We wanted to see – they want to educate us about how comprehensive they thought the opportunities are going to be. So it didn’t matter what leader we were talking to from that private sector. They were very forthcoming. They were very encouraging. They were glad to see that there could be a partner at the federal level that they could reach out to. So we are in the debriefing stage right now. We are coming back talking to the different officials and different organizations and throughout our agencies to discuss and try and prioritize where we think some future opportunities.

But we saw nothing but strong support from the Indian private sector. I will tell you another theme that came out in all of our conversations, whether it was from the ministries or the leaders or the private sector on the U.S. and India side, was the support for engagement of more small and medium size enterprises. And we believe that our states have been following on on our model from the federal level. There is a great deal of success from – for engagement of small and medium size enterprises at the state and municipal level. And so when you have leaders who can engage in those kinds of opportunities, we wanted to understand what would be the role in economic development along – whether it’s issues of roads, bridges, ports, I think just the development of their – the IT parks, you name it – how could those individuals be engaged.

And so our leaders here – the National Export Initiative really is targeting small and medium size enterprises. So we think that there are some linkages that can be developed there, and we will be working with our U.S. colleagues in support of that as we see visits start to take place between the leaders.

QUESTION: And finally, ma’am, quickly, do you see any major problem as far as corruption is concerned, because U.S.-India Business Council members also were talking about it? Do you see this or have you discussed this with Indian officials or –

MS. LEWIS: In all of our democracies, transparency and accountability – it doesn’t matter whether it’s at the national level or the state level – are some of the most important things for our elected officials. And so issues that specifically deal with India, we leave those to the government in India.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: New York, do you have any questions?

MODERATOR: We have no questions, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

QUESTION: Okay. Ms. Lewis, one important question. President Obama’s recent visit to Midwest, and he emphasized two points in the specter of politics. He says I’m interested in job creation, improving the economy; whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, it doesn’t matter. In that context, you just mentioned (inaudible) energy opportunity about the investment into United States, initial opportunities. Specifically, I would like to know did you have a chance to discuss with the Indian private sector about what kind of investments they can look into in the USA, because India is now considered engine of growth for the U.S. economy? And that will be – so far, they have invested $25 billion and they can still invest much more. Any discussion about that?

MS. LEWIS: I think from a state-to-state engagement that we saw, they did talk about specific projects in those areas that would create, they believe, significant jobs. I think in some states, they really had – there are some reports that’s getting ready to come out. I think in Assam, in – from the central government in the ministry of SMEs, and others, some of the – and some of the councils, the AmChams, they’ve been doing some very targeted reporting to assist leaders as to where those types of activities can take place.

And I think as we engage with our business leaders, whether they were from Ford or others, they talked to us specifically about their plans, about their developments. And we were very delighted to see that, and I think we will continue to learn more about that as we see leaders start to actually travel and begin to put in place where they would like to collaborate and form engagements.

The other area that we thought was also constantly a theme throughout our visits about the opportunities is for women empowerment. And it was all – we visited a number of sites and engaged with a number of leaders who all talked about – from – whether it was talking about self-help organizations where India has a unbelievable model that I think all of us in all – in our government can learn from about – for the work that – and we witnessed firsthand and talked to some of those women firsthand about the plans that their help – started out by helping themselves and helping their families, to then helping their community, and now their plans are to help their nation.

And so when you have women who are, I think, under the constitution at the panchayat level – I think it has to be a third and that there– I think at the state level it has to be a half in terms of the legislature – we saw women talking about putting people to work and putting not just themselves and their families, but putting their communities to work. And we saw this that – heard them talking about this in the thousands, and that’s a model that India has that I think all of us, and especially here in the U.S., can benefit from.

And so it’s a mutual exchange. It’s a mutual exchange for us to emphasize where work can be done.

QUESTION: I’ll come back to the Passport to India program, and the Secretary has announced that a similar program for China already has set a target of 100,000 students. What is your target for India? How many U.S. students you want to go to India?

MS. LEWIS: Yes. I have been involved with our 100,000 Strong effort with Carola McGiffert, who leads that for our China team. I don’t – I think as we get to the education summit, those will be the opportunities when that will begin to be more developed. Partly (inaudible) is really – on the education side is really to begin to educate more of our young people and professors and researchers on the opportunities to study at some of the fine and great universities in India and to look at where opportunities are. So I think these targets will begin to be developed in the coming weeks and months.

QUESTION: You spoke of a wealth of opportunities in India, but you also acknowledge that there’s several challenges. What in your mind are some of these challenges?

MS. LEWIS: Well, what they discussed with us was how officials who want to engage in either system have to understand the system of which we’re engaging in. I think they discussed – what I think – what we discussed was how does a – if a state carries a business delegation, they want to make sure that they’re sitting down with those teams in the states in the municipal government and can actually really walk through and step them through procurement – how to – about the procurements, about the rules and regulations for engagement, of how to joint venture opportunities, and that will be the same thing of whether officials would do that going to India.

And so that’s why we are collaborating with the business sector of both India and U.S., because they’re the direct recipients of how that has occurred. Many of them – some of the larger multilaterals discussed with us that they believe that engagement can take place through the supply chain, especially from – in the huge, huge infrastructure projects that are going to be taking place, and so they believe that they see opportunities there. And so SME, the women entrepreneurs, will need to be able to understand how to engage in those. And so working with the private sector and working with our resources in the federal government, we want to begin to educate our officials.

And that’s why later this year, in the coming weeks, we are going to early on have a – what we call a global engagement series, and that we have done for other countries, where we invite our state and local leaders and their teams and staff. So whether it’s the commerce staff or their secretaries or their agricultural teams or their trade teams, they come to Washington. And for us in the U.S. Government come together with all of our State Department officials on the political and the economic side and bring together our commerce partners and our agriculture partners and other colleagues to really give them some firsthand knowledge and to showcase the breadth of resources that they have that can assist them in the federal government.

So part of our follow-on will be now moving this to bringing them in. The Embassy has what will be a part of that here in Washington. Because it’s all about relationships. It’s about the trust that’s built between people when they engage, whether you’re at the business side or whether you’re at the university side. And so we want to do our part, and we will do our part, to be a facilitator and a resource for these individuals.

MODERATOR: We have time for two more questions.

QUESTION: Okay. Your answer reminds me of one recent controversy in coming out of Chennai consulate when the vice consul made some remarks on Tamilian people and afterwards he had to apologize for it. How do you see that news? And also the Tamil Nadu chief is still (inaudible) Chennai consulate there.

MS. LEWIS: We had a great visit to Chennai. We also had a great visit, as the Secretary did, with the chief minister. And as our spokesman said yesterday, we also noted that was unacceptable, and we are leaving those comments to the consulate and the Embassy in India to continue to handle. But our visits in July were very well received and very engaging about where strong partnerships can take place at the state level. And so that’s where have focused our time and attention.

MODERATOR: New York has a question. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Welcome. It’s time you woke up. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Hello, New York.

MODERATOR: New York, go ahead.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) You mentioned about a special exchange about the use of – to promote (inaudible) targeted population. Are these projects mainly for youth, the younger generation, or is it for general public as well? And as far as tourism concerned, is it mainly for American to visit India or both ways? And I also would like to know if you have any targeted destination of travel.

MS. LEWIS: Well, we don’t pick the destination. The individuals traveling would pick their own destinations. But I will tell you that state by state, they did discuss where they saw strong diaspora, and they said really throughout all of your U.S. states they saw very, very strong disaspora communities.

But it would be tourism going both ways. It would be – that’s why we understand when one of the ministers discussed with us with his tourism team that they would be coming to look at different states, and we asked them some areas of focus. And they have brought up everything – everywhere from the north, the east, the south, and the west and the midwest. So you can get – states have been mentioned, like Maryland and Texas and New York and California and Georgia and Iowa, you name it. It’s been Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire. It’s been state after state that we have seen close community ties, people who have been – many who have been educated in the U.S., many who travel to the U.S. often, and vice versa.

And so it goes both ways. I think that no one state was favored over another one, but I think we met – tour gets announced that one ministry is planning on doing this year. You can get – we’ll be able to see where some targets for that particular state is. And so state by state, they have their own targets, just like U.S. states would have their own targets of opportunities.

But at the end of the day, as I started off saying, the bedrock of our relationship with U.S.-India has always been strong at that nation-to-nation level, and we look at these types of efforts as a comprehensive approach to continue to strengthen and deepen our bilateral ties at the state-to-state level. So we’re excited about the enthusiasm. Now we are beginning to move around on our debrief. We’re beginning to engage some leaders that have already contacted us about them going and wanting to have assistance and about leaders who may be coming – we heard about some leaders who may be coming to the U.S. So we are – want to, as we have pledged in India, to continue to be a connector and a resource for them and in our – in the strengthening of these bilateral ties between our nations.

MODERATOR: Okay, we will have to end there, but thank you, Special Representative Lewis.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

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