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Corporate America vows to boost US-India business ties

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Washington, Oct 10 :

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has reaffirmed its faith and hope in the future of the US-India trade relationship with its members committed to making $41 billion investment in India.

“There’s never been a better nor a more vital time for the US and India to work togetherthan right now. Let us seize a defining moment in a defining partnership,” USIBC chairman Ajay Banga said at its 39th Anniversary Leadership Summit here Thursday.

“The admiration for India is today being matched by a renewed optimism about India in the US and around the world,” said Banga, who is also President and CEO, MasterCard to a packed house in the Hall of Flags at the US Chamber of Commerce.

The premier trade advocacy organisation comprised of 310 of the top-tier US and Indian companies hosted the summit in the wake of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s historic visit to the US. Entitled “A New Chapter: Fast Tracking Growth,” it brought together industry and government leaders from both India and the US.

In his opening address Indian ambassador to the US, S. Jaishankar, thanked Modi for generating so much enthusiasm about US and India during his recent visit.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman, in a closing keynote, spoke about helping India become “a key part of global supply chains” in manufacturing and other arenas.

“One of the great strengths of this relationship is that you do have very active business communities in both places,” working to strengthen economic ties, he said.

Noting that “our leaders hope that our bilateral trade will grow five fold,” US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said it will take “tough work” and a willingness to “get down to specifics, that’s how you make progress.”

The event also featured special remarks by Under Secretary of Defence Frank Kendall on the US-India Defence Trade & Technology Initiative and a second closing keynote by State Bank of India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Also during the Summit, USIBC presented its prestigious Global Leadership Awards to Steven A. Kandarian, CEO – MetLife Inc. and to Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group for their companies’ outstanding contributions to the US-India growth story.

USIBC Acting President Diane Farrell hoped that in a few years’ time people will say that India and US are not only the world’s oldest and largest democracies, but “also the world’s strongest partners in trade where they celebrate democracy.”

The USIBC will participate in the India-US Technology Summit in New Dehli next month as also lead a CEOs Mission to participate in Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar next January.

(IANS)