Highlights from Second Annual India Leadership Summit
On October 21, a delegation of USISPF members led by USISPF Chairman John Chambers met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Indian economy. Key points of the discussion with PM Modi included the country’s start-up ecosystem, government initiatives to promote innovation, and steps that the government has taken to improve the ease of doing business in India, such as reducing corporate tax and enacting labor reforms.
The delegation presented PM Modi with three USISPF reports, on U.S.-India bilateral trade, high-tech manufacturing, and coal gasification. Our study on trade projects that by 2025, bilateral trade could range between $283 billion to $327 billion, at an annual average growth rate of 10%-12.5%. The high-tech manufacturing paper identifies the potential for India’s high-tech sectors to offer an additional investment of $21 billion, and create 550,000 direct and 1,400,000 indirect jobs, over the next five years and provides recommendations for growing India’s high-tech manufacturing ecosystem to fulfill that potential. These recommendations were developed with the help of senior global executives from different industries. The USISPF has also constituted a working group of American and Indian companies in the coal gasification sector, and we look forward to working with the Government of India to bring the latest technology and investments in this sector.
The India Leadership Summit, also on October 21, was a major success, attended by 400 participants, featuring 30 speakers including current and former members of the governments of India and the U.S. as well as global leaders in the private sector, and covered by 50 media outlets.
Speaking on India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region, BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, said, “I would like to my friends in the US to not just look at India as a large market. However, India can partner with the Unites States and become a hub to service and cater to the emerging markets in the Indo-Pacific Region east of India.”
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar expressed confidence in the strength of the US-India relationship today, saying “there is a willingness in both governments to work together and solve for the issues that both countries are facing.” He highlighted cooperation in “technology and a knowledge-driven economy” as a key opportunity for US-India relations.
Former National Security Adviser Dr. Henry Kissinger, speaking about the changing dynamics of U.S.-India relations said, “No two countries are better situated to grow together on strategic issues than US and India. Over the past decades, we have reached a point where US-India have parallel objectives on all the key strategic issues such as security and economic evolution of the world. This has allowed the two countries to act as partners without a formal agreement.”
USISPF also hosted its annual board meeting in New Delhi, on October 20. The guest of honor at this year’s meeting was the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri, who spoke with KPMG India CEO & Chairman Arun Kumar on the role of trade in the US-India relationship.
Minister Puri provided insight that the trade issues on the table “are not of serious nature” and, in many cases, are close to resolution. He also highlighted that the relationship between the US and India goes far beyond these issues, although “the trade component also reflects the nature of the relationship.”
Other guests included Members of Parliament, members of the Government of India, and Edgard Kagan, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Ken Juster, the U.S. ambassador to India, also met with the board to discuss the bilateral relationship and ways to deepen US-India relations.