WASHINGTON, DC, February 25, 2021: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today announced the addition of Kevin Lobo, Chair & CEO, Stryker to its Global Board of Directors; further solidifying Council’s leadership in healthcare sector. As U.S. and India focus on rebuilding economies, healthcare collaboration is set to take the centerstage, making Mr. Lobo’s appointment to the Board all the more significant.
“We are excited to welcome Kevin to our Board of Directors. His extensive global business and leadership experience across multiple industries, especially healthcare, makes him a great addition to our Board which includes some of the biggest names from U.S.-India corridor.” said USIBC President Nisha Biswal.
Effective immediately, Mr. Lobo will join the Council’s Global Board, which provides guidance on the Council’s overall advocacy approach and engagements.
“U.S.-India Business Council has played a crucial role in expanding the horizons of the U.S.-India partnership, which has transformed into a global strategic partnership. I am deeply honored to serve on USIBC’s Global Board as it charts a path forward in a post-pandemic era and continues to advocate for stronger U.S.-India partnership.” said Kevin Lobo, Chair & CEO of Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. The company offers innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes.
Mr. Lobo also serves as Stryker’s Chair of the Board, recently completed a two-year term as Chairman of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Board of Directors and serves on the board of directors for Parker Hannifin Corporation. He joined Stryker in 2011 and was named CEO in October 2012.
Mr. Lobo has a broad business career that includes executive positions in general management and finance. After holding finance positions with KPMG, Unilever and Kraft Canada he spent eight years with Rhone-Poulenc, including roles based in Europe as Worldwide Corporate Controller of the chemical spin-out, Rhodia, and General Manager of Specialty Phosphates EMEA. He then spent eight years at Johnson & Johnson, including CFO of McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Ortho Women’s Health & Urology, President of J&J Medical Products Canada and President of Ethicon Endo Surgery.
The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) represents top global companies operating across the United States, India, and the Indo-Pacific. Amid dynamic growth within the U.S.-India commercial partnership, we serve as the premier voice of industry and create connections between businesses and governments across both countries. Through our flagship Washington, D.C. and New Delhi offices and presences across both countries, we work with members to identify and advance key policy priorities. Recognizing that U.S.-India trade is increasingly driven by new business hubs, USIBC is also focused on strengthening connections between cities and states.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 80 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.
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Foreword by Nisha Biswal, President of the U.S.-India Business Council and Senior Vice President for South Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The fast evolving and moving United States – India partnership is founded on common set of values, robust democratic systems, and on deep cultures of entrepreneurship. Our countries also enjoy longstanding people- to-people ties that make them natural strategic partners. As leaders around the globe reassess their approach to global trade and investment and recover from disrupted supply chains, both nations have the capacity to catalyse areas of growth to achieve the shared goal of US$ 500 billion in two-way trade. This will require a strategic look at market-based reforms, deeper cooperation in research and development and a dynamic assessment of key sectors that need a targeted boost within the bilateral economic relationship.
Though the trade trajectory has been positive, there is still significant untapped potential in the U.S-India commercial relationship. Trade between our two countries reached nearly $150 billion in 2019, but the maximum potential can be reached by fostering a deeper connect between small and medium businesses at
the state and local level of both the countries. As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, USIBC is linked to a network of thousands of state, city, and metro chambers of commerce and will continue to leverage its networks for delivering value to its members and the larger business community across states and cities in both countries. USIBC is committed to supporting American businesses make their first forays into India and be a critical leader to increase bilateral trade and investment.
I congratulate Nishith Desai Associates and Sannam S4 for taking the initiative to author the “Doing Business in India” report. Investment guides like the“Doing Business in India”are excellent resources for businesses that are evaluating India as a viable option and are critical towards the achievement of the $500 billion goal in two-way trade.
During 2020, the Government of India (GOI or Government) is to be commended for its decisive and comprehensive actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these continued efforts, India has been successful in avoiding the worst of the devastating toll that the virus is imposing on the health and economies of so many nations. The Government has also implemented a series of reforms to support the Indian economy and its citizens through the negative impact of the health measures implemented to contain the virus. While these measures have enabled many companies, both large and small (and the workers that depend on them), to survive the economic downturn and remain viable entities, an aggressive path for reform is required to reverse the economic downturn and power the Indian economy’s return to its full strength as a regional and global powerhouse. As a result, India’s Union Budget for 2021-2022 takes on even greater importance as policymakers deliberate on the particular calculus required to promote investment, reinvigorate all industry sectors – both the hardest hit due to the pandemic as well as the fastest-growing – protect and create new jobs, and move aggressively towards a long-term strategy for growth. USIBC and its members share the Government’s goals for economic growth for all sectors of the Indian economy and for all its citizens. Member companies remain committed to their investment in India as well as the health and safety of their workers. They seek to work in collaboration to realize the shared vision of a vibrant and growing Indian economy.
USIBC provides the following recommendations in partnership with Ernst & Young (EY) for the GOI’s consideration as its submission for India’s Union Budget 2021-2022. Part A outlines broader reforms to drive growth in the Indian economy. Part B outlines specific recommendations that impact the operational health, and therefore the potential for growth, of U.S. companies operating in India. Part B has three parts: Section I outlines recommendations for building a fair and transparent taxation, Section II provides sector-specific taxation to encourage investment and economic growth, and Section III provides detailed recommendations for foreign direct investment (FDI) policy. Click here to access the full report.
The USIBC published recommendations to encourage U.S and Indian Governments to deepen their defense and strategic relationship while being more inclusive of the defense industry in both countries.
The following recommendations are offered to urge the U.S. and India to advance the defense relationship:
Further, the paper underscores that deeper integration between the U.S. and Indian defense industrial base will strengthen the overall U.S.-India commercial and strategic relationship. Industry has an important role to play in defense cooperation, which is essential to achieving the shared goal of maintaining a prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific region.
A statement from U.S.-India Business Council President Nisha Biswal following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of the 2021-2022 Union Budget.
“Today’s budget announcement contained several bold initiatives that set the tone for an accelerated post-pandemic economic recovery and new opportunities for India’s social development. While USIBC is still studying the details, we believe many of these measures will enhance confidence in India as a long-term destination for foreign investment and boost capital inflows.
Substantial commitments to increase public spending on healthcare, infrastructure and defence should promote inclusive growth and job creation and enhance national security, helping to sustain India’s impressive economic resurgence. Plans to set up a new infrastructure development bank and sell brownfield infrastructure assets should create opportunities for US asset managers and pension funds to enhance sectors like logistics, transportation, energy and water, supporting India’s drive to become more productive, connected and sustainable. Raising the cap on FDI in the insurance sector lays the ground work for American insurance companies to enhance financial inclusion in India and provide Indians with more tools to protect themselves against risks to their lives and livelihoods.
USIBC is also eager to learn more about many of these proposed reforms to fully understand their impact. For foreign investment to flow into the insurance sector, the management and control safeguards need to strike the right balance. The plan to set up a bad bank for distressed assets could have a major impact on credit growth, the lifeblood of the economy. We’re also closely examining the tax and customs proposals to determine how they will affect India’s ability to integrate into global value chains—a critical requirement to enhance competitiveness and ensure its long-term prosperity.
Finally, it’s worth highlighting that there is also prudence backing this budget: Combined with a commitment to spend this year, Finance Minister Sitharaman identified a five-year plan to reduce the fiscal deficit to pre-pandemic levels. USIBC stands ready to work with the Government of India in the next few weeks to maximize the positive economic and social impact of today’s announcements in the year ahead.”
The temporary suspension of H-1B and other non-immigrant visas by President Donald Trump along with other restrictive policies on immigration is detrimental to the United States and its economy, president of a top American business advocacy group has said.
“It (the proclamation) is unfortunate,” Nisha Desai Biswal, president of US India Business Council (USIBC) told PTI in an interview. Trump had earlier this week issued a proclamation to suspend issuing of H-1B visas, popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for the rest of the year. Trump argued that the step was essential to help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis. However, the US Chambers of Commerce and USIBC do not agree.
“I think that the United States has benefited greatly over the years by successive waves of immigration and most particularly the skilled workers that have been coming in under these H-1B visas and L-1 one visas that have enabled necessary talent to come in and augment American workers in support of technology fields,” Biswal said.
Ironically, many of the companies that utilise H-1B workers are also using and creating training programmes to create integrated teams that can support the work. And that can bring more American workers into the skills that are necessary for these jobs, she said. “So, in curtailing the programme, I think it is actually going to impede the upskilling of American workers to be able to take on many of these jobs,” Ms Biswal said.
“The challenge that companies face is that the work needs to be done and the companies that are providing IT services and the companies that are utilising this talent, if the talent is not available in the United States, I’m worried that the jobs will actually go offshore,” she said.
There are other countries that are competing to draw some of that investment and bring in these workers as a competitor to the US, she said. Observing that the United States is a hub of innovation and talent, she noted that Trump’s policy on work visas is only going to hurt America”s own competitiveness, inhibit economic investment, and have a counterproductive effect.
“The US has been able to grow and be at the head of research and development of innovation because we have for over decades and decades been able to draw the best and the brightest from around the world,” she said.
US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation earlier this week suspending the entry of workers on the H-1B and some other non-immigrant visa programmes. The order came into effect from June 24 and will expire on December 31.
Indian IT industry body NASSCOM has termed the suspension ‘misguided’ and harmful to the US economy. The CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donahue said, “This proclamation is a severe and sweeping attempt to restrict legal immigration. Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back.”
Tech majors like Google, Apple, Amazon and Tesla have also slammed the move. Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to voice his concerns. He said, “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”
To discuss the concerns regarding the suspension of H-1B and other non-immigrant visa programmes, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to the President of the US India Business Council (USIBC), Nisha Biswal.
Source: CNBC TV 18
TCS continues to support mission critical technology backbones for leading global organizations, keeping them open for business. As a leading technology provider, TCS is working with more than 1,000 organizations across the world to keep them up and running. A pioneer in location independent work practices for the last 50 years, TCS has proactively deployed collaboration platforms, cloud enabled infrastructure and robust security practices, which positions us well to deal with this unprecedented situation. During the COVID-19 crisis, TCS is leveraging their R&D infrastructure to run multiple threads, looking for opportunities to support high priority needs across the world.
ExxonMobil has donated 9,000 face masks, 45,000 nitrile gloves and 3,000 PPE kits to three leading hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. As GoMechanic’s official mobility partner, they are supporting their “Open for Heroes” initiative that provides free maintenance services to emergency and other frontline vehicles. In Bengaluru, where ExxonMobil has biggest employee base, they have donated 800 safety kits to the Bengaluru City Police and 2,000 hygiene kits to the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation.
Reform measures announced by the government as part to restart the economy are critical to make India’s business environment competitive not only with China, Vietnam and Mexico, but with more developed western economies