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USIBC Newsletter (August 22, 2019)

Message from the President

As India celebrated its 72nd birthday during last week’s Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Modi marked the occasion with a wide-ranging speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort addressing some of the challenges facing the nation and his determination to steer the ship of state. While much attention has focused on the decision to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the speech also highlighted important economic and development priorities, including a plan to invest nearly $50 billion to bring piped water to households and much-needed stimulus in the form of $1.4 trillion in spending on roads, railways, and other infrastructure.

Amid a slowdown in consumer spending, Prime Minister Modi noted the need for India to grow exports in order to boost jobs and create the path to a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Another key announcement was the establishment of a Defense Chief of Staff position, akin to the U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, designed to create a unified command structure in the Indian armed forces. While details on implementation for many of these announcements are not yet available, we are tracking government policy initiatives and will bring them to you as they are unveiled.

Trade and economic issues were also discussed in a 30-minute phone call between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi earlier this week, alongside a range of regional and bilateral issues. With the two leaders expected to meet on the margins of the G7 Summit in France this weekend, there is some potential for progress towards resolution of lingering trade issues, despite the fact that planned trade talks between Amb. Lighthizer and Minister Goyal have yet to take place. With another potential leader-level meeting in New York in September, we could be in for a period of more intense engagement between the two governments.

USIBC continues to be actively engaged on all of these developments. We are also busy preparing for the upcoming visit by PM Modi to the United States, which will include travel to Houston for the Howdy Modi Summit, followed by New York City for the U.N. General Assembly meetings. The Houston event is already sold out, with over 50,000 people expected to attend – making it the largest event ever held for an Indian Prime Minister in the United States. It’s also the one of the largest gatherings ever for a foreign leader, second only to Pope Francis’ visit in 2015.

USIBC will be engaged in both cities and look forward to seeing many of our members there. For more information on how you can get involved, please reach out to me or Sid Mehra.

Nisha Biswal


August 8 – USIBC M&E Committee Call with Andrea DaSilva, U.S. Department of Commerce
Andrea DaSilva, Global M&E Team Leader at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Digital Services Industries (Commerce/ODSI) leads a large team of M&E specialists throughout the U.S. that assist U.S. companies with exports of M&E and cultural products. ODSI supports a number of USG reports including the National Trade Estimate and Special 301. Participants shared key issues and areas where ODSI can engage with India. DaSilva also flagged several ODSI top M&E market reports which include India: Overview, India Section and Full Report.

For more information, please contact Jay Gullish.
August 16 – U.S. and Andhra Pradesh:
A Partnership for Growth

In partnership with the Atlantic Council South Asia Center and the Georgetown University India Initiative, USIBC hosted Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Washington. The event was the only business-focused engagement during the Chief Minister’s first visit to the U.S. since his victory in Andhra Pradesh in May. U.S. Chamber SVP Rob Schroder and Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla highlighted the importance of state-level engagement, and noted Andhra Pradesh’s positive growth trajectory and areas for future engagement with U.S. industry.
Chief Minister Reddy emphasized investment opportunities in his state, which include inftrastructure, transportation and logistics, and the growing agricultural sector.
For more information, please contact Sid Mehra.
August 21 – Life Sciences Roundtable with USTDA Tom Hardy
USIBC Life Sciences member companies had a constructive discussion with U.S. Trade and Development Authority (USTDA) Acting Director Thomas Hardy in New Delhi. Hardy provided updates on a number of active USTDA programs, including technical and regulatory studies, training grants, and trade missions, and encouraged companies participating in USIBC’s Life Sciences Policy Mission to utilize USTDA’s programs.
USTDA is planning a reverse trade mission of mostly private sector hospital executives and sought data on forthcoming opportunities.
For more information, please contact Sandeep Maini..




August 22
Roundtable with Andhra Pradesh Special Chief Secretary P V Ramesh
August 22-23
USIBC Life Sciences Policy Mission to India
New Delhi
See Updates
BREAKING (Date TBC Pending DTC Draft Release)
Conference Call on Draft Direct Tax Code (DTC)
Conference Call

Contact Us
September 10, 2019
Armchair Discussion with Nisha Biswal and Foreign Policy Managing Editor Ravi Agrawal
Washington, DC
September 11, 2019
Roundtable with Dr. Shekhar Mande, Secretary DSIR & DG CSIR
Washington, DC
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September 14, 2019
Nisha Biswal Speaks at the Indiaspora Global Forum
New York City
Learn More
September 16, 2019
Reception for Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy
In partnership with the Federation for Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
New Delhi
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September 16-20, 2019
U.S.-India Gas Task Force Meeting (9/16) & Gastech
Contact Us
September 18-19, 2019
Partner Event
India on the Hill: Co-Hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and The Heritage Foundation
Washington, DC
Learn More