U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Director of the National Economic Council Jeff Zients, Indian Minister of Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, Express Commitment towards Consolidating U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Ties


August 29, 2016, New Delhi – Kicking off the second U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and the U.S.-India CEO Forum, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Jeffery Zients, U.S. Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Indian Minister of Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, along with business leaders from both countries addressed U.S.-India Business Council’s dinner reception in New Delhi.

The reception was also attended by members of the CEO Forum who are shaping the commercial track of U.S.-India ties— Dave Cote (CEO & Chairman, Honeywell and Co-Chair CEO Forum); Cyrus Mistry (Chairman, Tata Group, Co-Chair CEO Forum); Anand Mahindra (Mahindra & Mahindra); Sanjay Bhatnagar (Waterhealth International); Hari Bhartia (Jubilant); Sunil Mittal (Bharti Enterprises); Preetha Reddy (Apollo Hospitals); Pravin Rao (Infosys); Paul Jacobs (Qualcomm); Jim Taiclet(ATC); Chanda Kochhar (ICICI); and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon).

“It’s a privilege for USIBC to host government and business leaders from both countries on the eve of the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. I think this round of dialogue is particularly significant because it will be an opportunity to reflect upon successes and how far we have come in the relationship between the two countries. It will also likely set the tone for the next administration— India will continue to be a valuable commercial and strategic partner for the United States. We are hopeful that this forum for productive dialogue will stand the test of time,” said Mukesh Aghi, President of the U.S.-India Business Council.

Delivering the keynote at the reception, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker congratulated the Government of India for its recent policy reforms, and she remarked that investors are enthusiastic and can feel the power of change. She also said that the Obama administration’s goal over the next few months would be to build bilateral cooperation and ensure that the two countries remain open for business with each other. Minister Sitharaman highlighted the range of domestic reforms that have been enacted under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, while also applauding the states for their spirit of competition that is drawing more investment to the country. Minister Sitharaman praised USIBC’s distinct efforts towards keeping up the momentum of U.S.-India economic ties.

“Less than three months ago, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama held their third major bilateral summit in Washington and pledged to pursue new opportunities to bolster economic growth and sustainable development, and to provide global leadership on issues of shared interest, including climate change and clean energy deployment. I am privileged to be here at the 2nd U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, to mark our significant and growing progress in the U.S.-India partnership,” said Jeff Zients, Director, U.S. National Economic Council.

Mr. Rana Kapoor, Founder & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Institute said, “As India and the U.S. strive towards becoming ‘Best Partners’, the visit of Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State and Ms. Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce to chair the landmark US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue is a highly positive and significant development. I firmly believe that our two countries will make significant headway during this Dialogue to promote mutual cooperation in key areas including Smart Cities, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, cutting edge Manufacturing and Infrastructure Development.”

“We remain excited about the future of India and the role that media & entertainment can play in driving the government’s agenda of accelerating growth and creating jobs. The big reforms like passing of the GST bill, comprehensive relaxation of the FDI across sectors, assertion of the primacy of IPR to drive innovation and a tight control on inflation give us a lot of confidence. However, we believe that all these will unlock desired value only if sectoral policies and regulations are aligned with the government’s macro initiatives that create a level playing field,” said Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India.

Speaking at the occasion, Amit Jain, President of Uber India said, “Uber is harnessing the power of technology to foster economic opportunities and micro-entrepreneurs across India. We are focused on supporting the current start-up ecosystem in India that can unlock the next level of growth with impact. The 2nd edition of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue holds immense promise for India and the U.S. to build on last year’s gains and foster greater collaboration.”

Attending companies included leaders from MasterCard, Amazon, Harman, Qualcomm, Boeing, American Tower Corp, Cisco, Infosys, Star India, and Honeywell.

About U.S.-India Business Council:
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties.

Contact: Sukanya Sen | ssen@usibc.com

Press Release