"Look at the way the landscape of this relationship has been revolutionized over the last few years. Look at the work that we have done, the expansion of trade, look at the content, look at the range of business and economic contact. It is a relationship with big heart and great soul and perfect, I would say, 2020 vision," Rao said.

"We have to ensure that we keep that vision focused and that we must build on what we have achieved in strategic partnership over the years," Rao said in her farewell address at a reception hosted by the US-India Business Council, which among others was attended by its chairman and the Master Card CEO Ajay Banga.

"I would like all of you to believe in India. India deserves to succeed. 1.2 billion people in the world, the largest democracy deserves to succeed,” she said, adding that the US must stay invested in its relationship with India.

"I request all of you to declare your faith in India,” she added.

Rao said there is certain small aspect of the immigration reform which needs to be fixed to ensure that the business relationship between India and the US in particular the service sector and the contribution that the software industry professional make to this relationship is not in any way endangered or affected adversely by what comes out of this reform.

Echoing Rao, Banga called for "adjusting" the immigration reforms bill in the interest of India-US relationship and to keep the knowledge economy going between the two countries.

"That bill is an excellent bill in many ways. It is one aspect that we are concerned with," Banga said, adding that Rao is the "real champion" in driving thinking in that space.

Rao said the United States Congress has been the greatest championship of US-India Strategic Partnership. "They do a great deal to keep the flag aloft to make people realise how important this relationship between two of our democracies is -- shared values, shared issues and shared concerns," she said.

Retiring from public service after spending 40 years as a diplomat, Rao praised Indian diplomats for their phenomenal success, despite that they are far less in number given the size of the country.

"Let me say, now that I am leaving the (Indian Foreign) Service, I can say with confidence that the diplomats in the Indian Foreign Service are among the best in the world. They are the best in the world in terms of the diligence, in terms of their professionalism, in terms of what they give to fulfilling the national interest. That should be acknowledged," she said.


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