Reinvigorating the U.S.-India Agricultural Partnership
Washington, DC – October 29, 2014 – The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today concluded its first Food and Agriculture Executive Mission to India since 2011. The three-day mission, entitled “Reinvigorating the U.S.-India Agricultural Partnership,” reestablished an important and mutually beneficial relationship between USIBC’s Food & Agriculture Executive Committee and the Indian Government to enhance bilateral commercial relations between the two nations.  This was an important milestone in the USIBC Executive Committee’s steadfast commitment to advance shared interests in the food and agriculture sectors and advocate for policies and regulations that improve agricultural productivity, enhance food safety, and ensure food security in India.
In meetings with U.S. and Indian Government officials, USIBC members discussed ways to partner with the Indian government to advance Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, which calls for greater foreign investment in production and manufacturing in India. The committee also discussed policies that the Government of India could pursue that would enhance food safety, foster innovation, boost the competitiveness of local industry, and increase the speed at which new products are introduced to market.
“Our meetings this week were open, frank, and extraordinarily encouraging” said DuPont Pioneer President and Mission Co-Lead Paul Schickler.  “The officials we met with at all levels in the Indian Government were interested in gaining a better understanding of how they can partner with industry to generate greater investment at every level of the farm-to-fork food chain. There is a real sense in New Delhi that the government is serious about the reforms that we have all heard so much about.”
During the trip, USIBC members were able to strengthen ties with government and corporate leaders and reinforce the U.S. industry’s position as a collaborator with shared interests in advancing India’s agriculture economy and food industry. The delegates connected with Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh and Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, along with several officials at the Secretary and Joint Secretary level from the Ministries of Agriculture; Health and Family Welfare; Finance; and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The delegation also had productive discussions with the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman of Cargill Foods India and Mission Co-Lead commented: “The lines of communication are now wide open, and we have already been able to outline several areas for collaboration between the U.S. and Indian private and public sectors that will build capacity and enhance private sector engagement in policy and regulatory decision-making. We were also able to foster relationships with India-based partners and we look forward to the continued engagement which will advance the Executive Committee’s long-term goal of enhancing the overall bi-lateral commercial partnership between these two great nations.”
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.
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