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The US is keen on leveraging its strategic partnership with India -- a growing Asian economic, military and geo-political power -- in balancing the rise of China in the larger Indo-Pacific domain. The first American President to have visited India twice during his tenure, Barack Obama has been committed to forging deeper cooperation with India, which he calls a 21st-century centre of influence.
Here's an interesting statistic: 95% of trade by South Asian countries is focused on Europe, North America, and, to a lesser extent, East Asia. This has kept the subcontinent, with several landlocked and border regions being some of the poorest in the world, from realising the wealth in its own neighbourhood. Yet, it doesn't have to be that way. With the right approach, South Asia can revamp itself into an economic powerhouse, instead of being home to the largest number of the world's poor.