Speaking on the topic of 'The United States and India: Implementing a Deeper Strategic Partnership', Rao said that the menu of future co-operation emerging from the recent India-US Strategic Dialogue is 'unprecedented and covers almost every field of human endeavour'.
Questioning critics' suggestions that India-US relations are 'oversold' or 'adrift', Rao said, "The partnership is yielding dividends which are tangible, and do affect the lives of our two peoples in a positive manner."
However, Rao lamented that the 'voices of Indian companies and business interests are often unheard in the audio stream of voices from the US side, who are constantly urging India to do more on the reform front'.
"In this crescendo from the American side, is the political economy and anthropology of India understood sufficiently?" she asked, and emphatically stated: "There is no question of the tide of economic reforms in India being reversed.
Asserting that 'the "India Story" is definitely not over', Rao noted that the Indian economy continues to be one of the two fastest-growing economies in the world despite the fall in growth rates in the last year.
Referring to questions or doubts being raised in the US about India's pace of reforms or opening up, she said: "The logic of an open economy and its benefits have still to be understood fully."
"On our part, we realise the need to revitalise business and investor sentiments and remove supply side bottlenecks," Rao said, noting, "The government is continuing with its efforts to bring in further reforms in key sectors of the economy, including FDI in multi-brand retail, insurance and power sectors."
"I would like to assure US investors that the Indian economy has the capacity to respond dynamically to the current situation facing it," she said.
On the other hand, from the Indian perspective too, there are some challenges and issues - including visa and market access problems - that the Indian businesses face. Rao stated that these problems continue to hinder the realisation of full potential of India-US commercial ties.
"We need to address these issues constructively while keeping the long-term perspective of mutual benefit, and the big picture of our relationship, in mind," she said.