December 8, 2017

Message from the President

Yesterday, the elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement admitted India as its member. This is a significant move that is expected to raise New Delhi’s stature in the field of non-proliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies. 

India also concluded the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 Hyderabad last month. Those who were present in Hyderabad will agree that the summit was a symbol of the ever-increasing economic cooperation between the United States and India. This was the first GES to be held in South Asia, highlighting India's growing prominence as an entrprenuership hub and the leaps the country has made towards creating an enabling business environment. As an outcome from the discussion at GES, USIBC is pleased to launch a collaborative effort with industry partners to promote women entrepreneurs. Titled "Women for Women Innovators, Social Leaders & Entrepreneurs (WISE)", the intiative will work with key women leaders to offer leadership, mentoring, and development opportunities for women entrepreneurs and innovators in an effort to increase women’s participation in growing India’s economy. The next day, the Council hosted dialgoues on issues of privacy, and artifical intelligence and their impact on entrepreneurship. Telanagana's IT Minister KT Rama Rao and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President & CEO Ray Washburne provided special remarks to Council members on innovation and job creation.

This week, we are also pleased to welcome some new members to the team. My former colleague at the U.S. Department of State Ryan Miller joins the Council as the Senior Director of Business Development. Sandeep Maini, former commercial specialist at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi will join our team in Washington, D.C.

We hope you will get a chance to engage with both of them in the next few weeks.

Nisha Biswal

-Other Updates-

USIBC Welcomes Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons

This week, USIBC welcomed a delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) Daniel Simmons, from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Energy Unit Chief Ray Sudweeks kicked off the session with an overview of the importance of the US-India bilateral relationship to address India's growing energy demand. PDAS Simmons laid out the opportunities for strengthening America's position as a global energy player, and the priorities for the DOE delegation's upcoming trip to India in February that will be led by Energy Secretary Rick Perry. USIBC members provided an overview of India's energy market and the transitions that are required to achieve India's ambitious clean energy targets. Other issues discussed included challenges around contract sanctity, regulatory alignment between the center and state governments, and accelerating the shift away from coal as the primary energy generation fuel.  

USIBC Hosts Strategy Meeting on U.S. Immigration Reform 

This week, USIBC hosted a member discussion on the recent movements on U.S. immigration policy. There are concerns that certain provisions in H.R. 170, "the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act" would have negative consequences as well as uncertainty for industry and workers. In the coming weeks, USIBC will continue to raise this issue with relevant stakeholders as one of the top priorities of the U.S.-India commercial partnership. 
USIBC Hosts TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma in Silicon Valley
On December 6, USIBC hosted India’s Telecom RegulatoryAuthority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma for a member meeting in Silicon Valley. Over-the-Top distribution practices and privacy concerns were key components to the conversation. Also discussed were India's public-private partnerships, current manufacturing bottlenecks, incentivizing local manufacturing, personal data protections, and taxation issues. It was a robust consultation with members from Facebook, Disney, Intel, Qualcomm, Juniper, and Texas Instruments. 
USIBC Aerospace & Defense Committee Update

On December 4, USIBC hosted a day-long conference titled "Defense Export Control and Acquisition" to promote policies that improve ease of doing business in India's defense market. Featured speakers at the conference included: Shambu Kumaran, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Government of India; Dr. Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament & International Security Affairs), Ministry of External Afffairs, Government of India; and Munu Mahawar, Joint Secretary (Americas), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. USIBC's senior director Ben Schwartz wrote an op-ed in the Hindustan Times on leveraging the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative for progressing U.S.-India strategic ties.

Sukanya Sen