Updates from USIBC (April 09, 2019)

Message from the President:

We are counting down to our India Ideas Summit & 44th Annual Meeting on June 12-13 — now just nine weeks away! After a fantastic summit in Mumbai last year, we’re hosting the 2019 Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, our headquarters in Washington, DC.

Over the past few months, we’ve launched an ambitious effort to drive greater connectivity between local markets in the U.S. and India. The Summit theme “Connecting our Cities and States” reflects our committment to engaging leaders across industry and government who are driving economic growth in cities and states across both countries. With confirmed speakers including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Ambassador Ken Juster, Former NSA Stephen Hadley, and Shatter Fund Founder Shelly Kapoor Collins, we are excited to put on a dynamic and substantive event.

We have also officially launched our 2nd annual startup pitch competition, in collaboration with venture development firm Humble Ventures, and look forward to seeing some of DC’s most promising entrepreneurs pitch live at the Summit!

I’m also back in DC after a jam-packed trip to India, including a number of great meetings with members and Government of India officials. Early in the week, our India Advisory Council (IAC) members met with Consul General Edgard Kagan for a candid discussion on the state of U.S.-India commercial and strategic ties. I joined the 2019 CII Annual Session for a panel on navigating global volatility and uncertainty, and how India can use these trends to drive greater growth and dynamism. I was also pleased to see many of our members at our reception to inaugurate USIBC’s new offices in New Delhi, located at the DLF Centre Parliament Street.

 

In more bittersweet news, Head of Marketing and Communications Sukanya Sen will be leaving USIBC for a new role at the World Bank. Sukanya has been an integral part of USIBC’s success over the past four years, and we have greatly appreciated her deep knowledge of India and her tireless efforts to highlight the work of USIBC and our members. We wish her the best in all of her future endeavors.

Indian Election Update

With just one week until voters in India start going to the polls, the world’s largest exercise in democracy is about to unfold. There are more than 900 million eligible voters in India and over 1 million polling stations, which will conduct the elections in seven phases across five weeks. Election results will be announced on May 23. USIBC has held two recent programs on the upcoming elections, including a program with APCO. If you missed, it you can watch the discussion here. USIBC will hold a final election program at the end of April on the west coast – stay tuned for an email with additional details.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the India Ideas Summit & Annual Meeting in June, and encourage everyone to reach out to Amy Hariani for more information on participation and sponsorship.

Sincerely,
Nisha Biswal

ADVOCACY & EVENTS

 

March 14: CERAWeek Executive Energy Reception in Houston & USIBC Energy Engagement
USIBC hosted a U.S.-India Executive Energy Dinner in honor of the Indian delegation to CERAWeek on March 14 in Houston, Texas. The delegation was led by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary Dr. M. M. Kutty and included executive leaders from India’s oil and gas industry. The dinner also included FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, Indian CG for Houston Anupam Ray, Tellurian Senior Vice President and CEO Amos Hochstein and Meg Gentle, respectively, and representatives from General Electric, Baker Hughes, ExxonMobil, Adani, Reliance, and AECOM. The conversation highlighted the potential for growth and stronger ties in energy and infrastructure between the two countries.

On the same day in Delhi, USIBC – in association with AES, Fluence, and Siemens – hosted a cocktail reception at India Smart Utility Week and organized a series of site visits for electricity regulators and distribution company executives to the newly inaugurated 10MW energy storage facility. For more details, contact Lauren Diekman.
 

March 20: Secretary Sudan Roundtable & Opportunities in Indian Healthcare
On March 20, USIBC hosted Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. She invited greater cooperation in the Indian Healthcare system that included hospitals, drugs, diagnostics, devices and immunization. At the roundtable, she laid out salient features of the draft clinical trial rules and requested comments from USIBC members. For more information, contact Sandeep Maini.
 

March 27: USIBC Collaborates with U.S.-Indian Friendship Council on Capitol Hill
USIBC and the U.S-India Friendship Council hosted a panel discussion on the U.S.-India Partnership on March 27, led by USIFC Chairman Swadesh Chatterjee. USIBC Vice President Amy Hariani moderated a discussion featuring Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rep. George Holding (R-NC), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), UPS Vice President and Managing Director Penny Naas, Proctor & Gamble Associate Director for International Business Development & US Tax Sean Mulvaney and Senior Advisor of ASG Ray Vickery. Panelists shared insights on the Indian market, opportunities for working in India, and how to strengthen the bilateral relationship. Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) announced that he and other members of Congress were introducing a bill to enhance U.S.-India joint commercial partnerships. The discussion was followed by a reception joined by 200+ attendees and several members of Congress, underscoring the importance of the U.S.-India relationship.
 

March 28: Roundtable with AUSTR Chris Wilson & Tracking U.S. withdrawal of GSP Benefits
USIBC hosted Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia Christopher Wilson on March 28th for a discussion of the future of U.S.-India trade initiatives. Focused on GSP, the discussion centered around policy proposal concerns, technology, and maximizing potential between Washington and New Delhi. Members from several USIBC committees offered industry focused inputs on life sciences, food and agriculture, digital economy and energy issues. GSP withdrawal will primarily affect energy, health, consumer goods, product registrations, and energy procurement processes. For more information, contact Sandeep Maini.
 

March 28: Launch of the U.S.-India Agricultural Initiative
On March 28, 2019, USIBC launched the U.S.-India Agriculture Initiative, designed to maximize the collaboration in the sector. The initiative is designed to connect cutting-edge technology from the U.S. to India’s existing modernization efforts and support the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farmers’ income in unleashing the next level of agriculture reforms and growth in India. The launch follows a request by Prime Minister Modi in September 2018 to USIBC Board Members to draw up a blueprint and lay the foundation for the next level of economic partnership between U.S. and India. Agriculture & Food Processing was identified as one of the key sectors.

 

April 8: 2019 U.S. Chamber Global IP Champion Awarded
At the first ever IP-focused Track 1.5 Dialogue, co-hosted by the U.S. Chamber in October, online piracy emerged as a key focus area for U.S.-India collaboration. To move the Track 1.5 discussions forward, on April 8 USIBC and the Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) brought together industry leaders and enforcement authorities from the U.S. and India for a discussion of digital piracy, IP enforcement and inspiring domestic creativity.

 

Following the discussion, U.S. Chamber representatives awarded the Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit (MDCDU) — South Asia’s first public-private initiative to combat digital privacy — with the 2019 Global IP Champion Award in recognition of their efforts to protect rights holders online. For more information contact Jay Gullish or Hemal Shah.
 

Aerospace and Defense Update
 

USIBC continues to engage the Indian Ministry of Defense, which has assured us through multiple channels that they have heard USIBC’s suggestions and are taking action on critical issues underpinning U.S.-India defense & aerospace collaboration. The Secretary of Defense Production and the Director General for Acquisition directly cited USIBC’s work in recent remarks, including offset policy revision and implementation, technology security & interoperability agreements with the United States government, foreign direct investment limitations, indigenous content requirements, and pricing evaluations that fairly consider the U.S. foreign military sales process.

Looking forward, we anticipate the conclusion of an Industrial Security Agreement that allows classified information to be shared between U.S. and Indian private companies. This is a pre-requisite to any major collaboration under the Strategic Partnership model of the DPP, private industry input to U.S.-India defense technology and trade discussions, and consideration by the MOD of advanced U.S. defense systems made available for export by the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). One of USIBC’s priorities moving forward is ensuring that dialogue on COMCASA implementation includes input from industry to ensure that the GOI is fully informed of capabilties and partnership opportunities with the United States when they prepare to make major acquisition decisions following elections.

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

April 9, 2019

Interaction with Gurgaon’s Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri

Gurgaon, Haryana
For more information, contact Osamazaid Rahman or Ambika Sharma

April 9, 2019

Roundtable Discussion on Shareholder Activism and Corporate Governance in India

New York City
For more information, contact Amy Hariani

April 9, 2019

USIBC – CII Roundtable with Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs

New York City
For more information, contact Nileema Pargaonker or Rohan Sirkar

April 10, 2019

USIBC – HSBC Closed Door Interaction with Subhash C Garg, Finance Secretary & Secretary of Economic Affairs

New York City
For more information, contact Nileema Pargaonker or Rohan Sirkar

April 15, 2019
USIBC Hosts a Discussion on the Business Case for CSR and Social Impact Work with Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness
Washington, DC
For more information, contact Carolyn Posner

April 23, 2019

Roundtable: The Two-Way Street of Indo-U.S. Investment Opportunity

Chicago, IL
For more information, contact Nick Mancini

April 24, 2019
Featured Member Event: Khaitan & Co and Sheppard Mullin on the Future of the U.S.-India Relationship
Mumbai, India
For more information, contact Amy Hariani