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USIBC Newsletter (July 1, 2019)

Message from the President

Happy 4th of July to our members in the United States!  It’s been an exciting week in the U.S.-India corridor, including the long-awaited leaders-level trilateral meeting between the United States, India and Japan at the G20 in Osaka. While we have not seen any specific agreements or outcomes, there were plenty of positive atmospherics. Watch the readout of the trilateral discussion by White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump.
The meetings in Osaka were preceded by Secretary of State Pompeo’s trip to India, where he met with Prime Minister ModiForeign Minister Jaishanker, and other high-level Government of India officials. Before his departure, Secretary Pompeo previewed his approach to India and the Indo-Pacific at the USIBC India Ideas Summit & 44th Annual Meeting, held at the U.S. Chamber in Washington on June 12-13.
In addition to Secretary Pompeo’s speech, the two-day Summit featured remarks by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and our 2019 Global Leadership Award winners Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman. If you missed it or want to re-watch the sessions, you can view our recording of events on the main stage. You can also check out some great photos and highlights from the event.
On the policy front, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week released a much anticipated set of FAQs for its April 2018 Circular on Storage of Payment System Data, which clarified data localization requirements for all payments-related transactions. You can read the full FAQs here. In response to the new guidelines, USIBC hosted a members’ call on Monday to hear industry views and develop a plan for engagement on data localization. If you missed the call but would like to remain engaged on these issues, I encourage you to reach out to Nileema Pargaonker for more information.
Looking ahead, both USIBC and the larger business community are eagerly awaiting the release of the 2019-2020 Union budget on July 5, which is expected to outline the economic trajectory of the new NDA government. In the midst of significant economic headwinds globally and rising conflict between the United States and India on trade, investors will be watching to see whether the Modi government demonstrates a willingness to engage on some of the more challenging areas for reform, including the financial sector, land reforms, and labor issues. USIBC will be providing highlights for members once the budget is released later this week.

I am also heading to India later this month for meetings with Government of India officials and USIBC members.  Stay tuned for opportunities to engage both through these meetings and as part of several briefings on the Secretary Pompeo trip and G20 engagements we’ll be organizing in the coming weeks.  As always, I encourage you to reach out to me or any of the USIBC policy directors on any of these topics.

Nisha Biswal




June 7 – Indo-Pacific Space Cooperation: A Discussion with Major General Charles Bolden
Major General Charles Bolden provided an overview of his recent visits to India and Japan, where he met with government and industry officials on Indo-Pacific space cooperation. Bolden shared broader U.S. government plans to promote commercial space exploration internationally, as well as preparation for the upcoming U.S.-India space dialogue later this year. Key takeaways included an emphasis that Commerce – rather than NASA – will lead the U.S. commercial space industry; the U.S. government remains uncoordinated, with efforts still ongoing to determine the right mechanisms to develop the commercial space sector; the UAE and Israel can serve as good models in commercial space; and that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is challenging to engage and India will need to include civil society, academia, and industry to take advantage of opportunities in the sector. Bolden expressed his support for a the USIBC-recommended commercial/academic space day to be held alongside the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group (CSJWG) in November.


For more information on commercial space issues, please contact Jay Gullish.


June 17 – Defense Roundtable with Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla
The USIBC Defense and Aerospace Committee met with Ambassador Harsh Shringla for a discussion focused on opportunities to integrate supply chains in the context of technology security challenges and increase Indian military capability through advanced U.S. technologies.
For more information, please contact  Ben Schwartz.

June 20 – Building on Success: Partnerships to Combat Call Center Fraud
USIBC supported the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s 4th annual workshop on call center and technical support fraud, which brought together U.S. and international law enforcement, industry, and civil society to discuss tactics and partnerships to combat these issues. With over 100 participants from 6 countries, the workshop offered insights into the fraud landscape, payment systems, international perspectives, and technology solutions to robocalling. After a series of successful take downs and prosecutions in the past several years, the participants focused on what works, what doesn’t, and how the community should collaborate to reduce fraud and enhance law enforcement cooperation. Discussion also focused on engaging a broad group of stakeholders to reduce impact, lower reputational risk, and build consumer trust in communications networks and IT platforms.

For more information on technology and digital issues, please contact  Jay Gullish.

June 24-25 – Life Sciences Delegation Meetings with Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh
On June 24, USIBC organized meetings between healthcare-focused members and the Governments of Punjab and Haryana (Health and Family Departments) in Chandigarh. The following day, the delegation met with the Government of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla. The meetings were designed to provide members with an understanding of the overall policy landscape and opportunities for investment at the state level. Discussion focused on states’ healthcare priorities, public-private partnerships, and collaboration on immunization and CSR projects.
The meetings were chaired by the Additional Chief Secretaries of the states’ Health Departments, and attended by other senior government officials. Invest Punjab also hosted the delegation in Chandigarh and gave a presentation on investment opportunities in Punjab. The delegation included USIBC member companies GE Healthcare, Abbott, Pfizer, Mylan, Gilead, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific and Stryker. Following these meetings, participating USIBC members will submit individual proposals for engagement on healthcare to the state governments. Look out for additional opportunities to engage at the state level in the months to come!

For more information on state engagement, contact Sandeep Maini or Mayank Rohatgi.

June 27 – Farewell Reception for Ambassador Puneet Kundal
USIBC held a farewell reception for Embassy of India Commercial Minister Puneet Kundal, who will depart from Washington later this month to assume a new post as Ambassador to Tunisia and Libya. The reception reconized his phenomenal work to build up the U.S.-India commercial partnership.
Ambassador Kundal previously served in the Indian Foreign Service, Embassy of India in Cairo, Embassy of India in Muscat, Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of India in Brussels, Embassy of India in Kathmandu, and Consul General of India to Cape Town.Ambassador Kundal noted that, while he will miss Washington, he is looking forward to his new post and the opportunity to contribute to relations between India and Tunisia.

For more information on commercial space issues, please contact Jay Gullish.


July 5, 2019
Webinar: Indian Union Budget 2019-2020 Readout with Dhruva Advisors, LLP11:00am–12:00pm EST / 7:30pm–8:30pm IST
July 11, 2019
Roundtable with DAS David Ranz
Incoming U.S. Consul General Mumbai
Washington, DC
July 18, 2019
International Privacy Forum
Hyderabad, India
July 18, 2019
STA-1: Connecting India to the Global Supply Chain
New Delhi, India
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