High-level Delegation Hopes to Convey U.S. Business Solidarity
NEW DELHI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- USIBC Chairman Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard Worldwide, arrives in New Delhi today with a high-powered delegation of American business leaders to accelerate and advance the pro-growth agenda that has brought two-way U.S.-India trade beyond the $100 billion mark, and establishes $500 billion in two-way trade as USIBC’s next goal.
This annual visit of the U.S.-India Business Council Board of Directors, led by USIBC’s Chairman Ajay Banga, assumes special significance this year, in that it will venture beyond traditional stops in New Delhi and Mumbai, where executives will meet with government and financial leaders and captains of Indian industry.
For the first time, the USIBC Chairman’s Executive Mission will visit Lucknow at the invitation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister reached out to USIBC a year ago seeking American investment in the state, and preparatory meetings were held between USIBC President Ron Somers and USIBC Chairman Ajay Banga and the U.P. Chief Minister last October.
The USIBC Chairman’s Executive Mission this year distinguishes itself on two counts: the blue-chip delegation is comprised of an array of some of America’s finest companies, and arrives on the heels of India’s 2013-2014 Budget, which for the first-time articulates the imperative of foreign direct investment as necessary to spur India’s growth.
USIBC has just hosted post-Budget analyses with accounting powerhouses E&Y and KPMG in Washington, New York, and Silicon Valley, supported by the Indian Embassy. The investor response to these programs has been overwhelmingly positive, spurring a renewed interest in India as an attractive investment destination.
“The synergies between the United States and India are well-known: our common inclination towards free-market economic principles and our shared entrepreneurial DNA make for a potent combination, one that can generate opportunity and growth, a “win-win” for our companies and our countries,” USIBC Chairman Ajay Banga said.
USIBC’s blue-chip delegation will meet with government officials in New Delhi on March 11 and 12, and has sought a courtesy call with the Prime Minister to convey U.S. business solidarity.
USIBC will then fly to Lucknow, leading a 35-member blue-chip U.S. industry delegation, where USIBC will co-host with CII on March 13 the first-ever U.S.-India Business Summit in the Uttar Pradesh capital, entitled, “Destination Uttar Pradesh: Investing in the Future.” The U.S.-India Business Summit will be inaugurated by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. The USIBC delegation will discuss the findings of the day-long program and present an Agenda for Progress to the Chief Minister at the close of the day, setting benchmarks and laying out a road map to facilitate U.S. investment in Uttar Pradesh.
The USIBC Board of Directors will then travel to Mumbai to attend meetings with RBI, SEBI, and captains of Indian industry, hosting a media interaction and reception with partner CII.
“When you step back and consider how far U.S.-India relations have advanced these past twenty years since economic liberalization, and then appreciate that half of India’s population is less than two decades old, the possibilities for commercial opportunity and partnership are tremendous,” USIBC President Ron Somers said. “Y2K, coordinated relief efforts between the Indian and U.S. navies following the 2004 Tsunami, Civil Nuclear Cooperation, the Chandrayan moon launch, and unprecedented defense and security cooperation – these are just some of the numerous areas where Indo-U.S. partnership have changed history in recent years. Like the movie Casablanca, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
With the second-term of the U.S. Administration of President Obama still settling in, and considering upcoming National elections in the offing in India, USIBC in 2013 decided to look beyond the two national capitals and visit those Indian states where progress is evident and policies are business-friendly.
USIBC attended Vibrant Gujarat in January, and will now visit Uttar Pradesh, where policy indicators and market fundamentals are welcoming.
The USIBC Chairman's Executive Mission will be led by Ajay Banga, MasterCard Worldwide, and include USIBC Board Members: Robert Nelson, Akin Gump; Punit Renjen, Deloitte, LLP; Steven Wisch, Ireo/ India Equity Partners; Anil Bhalla, J.P. Morgan; Sanjay Nayar, KKR; Jaspal Singh Bindra, Standard Chartered; and Amb. Susan Esserman, Steptoe & Johnson. Ron Somers, President of USIBC, will accompany the delegation.
Rounding out the delegation that will continue on to Lucknow are: Accenture, Sanjeev Kumar Gupta; Adelphi Capital LLC, Tom Donahue Jr.; American Express, Sanjay Rishi; Applied Materials, Ashwani Aggarwal; Archer Daniels Midland, Girish Aivalli; Azure Power, Inderpreet Wadhwa; Black & Veatch, Mohan Tahiliani; Cargill, Siraj Chowdhary; Caterpillar, Ganesh R. Iyer; CH2M Hill, Avinash Patwardhan; CH2M Hill, Rajeev Vijay; Citi, Ashok Swarup; Cognizant, T. Sridhar; Customized Energy Solutions, Stephen Fernands; DLA Piper, William (Bill) Cook; DMD Advocates, Rashi Dhir; GE, Rakesh Chitkara; Honeywell, Amb. Rick Graber; Honeywell Aerospace, Pritam Bhavnani; Hewlett-Packard, Rajiv Srivastava; Ingersoll Rand, Venkatesh Valluri; JP Morgan Chase, Anil Bhalla; Jabil Circuit, Sanjay Vidyarthi; Lucknow University, Dr. Arvind Mohan; Merck, Dr. Meeta Chatterjee; MetLife, Shailendra Ghorpade; Monsanto, Dr. Gyanendra Shukla; Novartis, Sundeep Kumar; Oracle, Joe Alhadeff; Pepsi, Charles Freeman; Quest Diagnostics, Mukul Bagga; Thomson Reuters, Swarup Choudhury; URS Corporation, Srinivas Krishnaswamy; U.S. Commercial Service, Greg O'Connor; and Western Union, Kiran Shetty.
The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments to advance two-way trade and expand commercial ties, is the largest bilateral business association in Washington, DC, comprised of the top 350 U.S. and Indian companies engaged in U.S.-India business. Celebrating its 38th Anniversary on June 27, 2013 in Washington, DC, USIBC’s Chairman Ajay Banga will be visiting New Delhi, Lucknow, and Mumbai for this Chairman’s Executive Mission, March 11-14, to emphasize the need for clarity in policy and the creation of a business-friendly climate to attract investment and spur growth, hallmarks of the U.S.-India commercial relationship.
U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)
Kathryn Van Dyken, 202-463-5768
Source: U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)