U.S.-India Business Council Hosts India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New York

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S.-India Business Council, in partnership with the Confederation of India Industries (CII), hosted Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for an investor gathering in New York on October 9, 2017. The Indian economy has witnessed an unprecedented pace of significant economic reforms in the last 3 years under the leadership of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The discussion focused on positive developments in India's reform agenda, charting the way forward for future reforms to solidify India's position as a dynamic market in the region, and how U.S.-India commercial ties can play a greater role in advancing needs of citizens in both countries. Mr. Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President, Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) offered opening remarks at the program. They underscored the commitment of both business associations to promote commercial ties between the United States and India. Following Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington, D.C., a very robust joint statement, and upcoming dialogues such as the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, Mr. Brilliant commented on the bipartisan support for U.S.-India ties and expressed optimism for the upward trajectory to continue in the coming years. Mr. Brilliant also applauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his unwavering focus on improving India's ease of doing business, implementing major reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and instituting a bankruptcy code. He stressed the commitment and desire of American industry to support India's long-term economic growth, create jobs for the young demographic, and be a stronger partner in Prime Minister Modi's vision for a “New India”.

Addressing American investors for the first time since the implementation of major reforms such as the GST, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told investors that India now has the capacity to implement bold decisions and scale them up efficiently. He highlighted the large number of infrastructure projects that the government is working on, the focus to bring more people into a formal banking system, and the need to widen the tax base for the country's overall economic health. He also said that India has become one of the most open economies, is globally integrated at a time when other economies are turning protectionist.

The program also included remarks from Ms. Shobana Kamineni, President, CII; Mr. Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to USA; and Mr. Subhash C Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Secretary Garg has long-standing experience in the Ministry of Finance and deals with Budget preparation and capital markets, among others.

The event included a moderated discussion featuring the Honorable Finance Minister Jaitley with Mr. Daniel Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal and was moderated by Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee. Mr. Schulman has a long-standing interest in financial inclusion as a means to alleviate poverty and using technology as an enabler to do so. He focused his remark on India’s next wave of reforms, the need to expand the reach and effectiveness of financial inclusion initiatives, and the tools necessary to ensure that all of India’s citizens participate in India’s digital financial future.

Watch the full program on U.S.-India Business Council's Facebook page.

Sukanya Sen