USIBC Newsletter (September 19, 2019)
Message from the President
With the visit of Prime Minister Modi to the United States imminent, and the new dynamic of President Trump’s participation in the Howdy Modi summit in Houston – along with a keynote by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and participation by several other governors and members of Congress – there is a fever pitch of activity on the U.S.-India front.
U.S.-India trade discussions are heading towards a climax as negotiators from the U.S. and India seek to reach an agreement in advance of the leader level meetings. With expectations running high, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has hinted that an agreement is in the final stages, but noted that the decision on an announcement will be up to Prime Minister Modi and President Trump.
In addition to the Howdy Modi Summit, Prime Minister Modi’s Houston agenda will include an energy-focused executive roundtable and meetings with the CEOs of several major U.S. energy companies. The energy sector is just one of a number of areas where PM Modi and the Indian government will be seeking to expand trade and investment ties with the United States, amid a significant slowdown in India’s economic growth.
The visit also comes after a series of announcements by Finance Minister Sitharaman designed to boost the Indian economy, recapitalize and consolidate public banks, strengthen exports and support the struggling housing sector. With officials like RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das noting that the 5% GDP growth for Q1 “came as a surprise” and was worse than any government predictions, we are expecting more economic announcements as early as this week.
Between these announcements, the prospective unveiling of a trade deal, the Howdy Modi summit, and the UN General Assembly meetings next week, it’s set to be an action packed 10-day stretch. The action will continue after the PM’s visit as well, with planned U.S. visits by Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) Chairman Ajay Tyagi in early October, followed by the Finance Minister around the Bank/Fund Meetings in mid October. Follow us (@USIBC) on Twitter for the latest updates and action, and stay tuned for invitations to upcoming events.
ADVOCACY & EVENTS
USIBC hosted an armchair conversation with Ravi Agrawal, Foreign Policy Managing Editor and creator of the recently launched FP South Asia Brief. Agrawal explained that issues beyond India-Pakistan friction are rarely covered with nuance in western media, and noted his hope that the new weekly brief – which covers India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives – will provide a new perspective on the region. Agrawal and USIBC President Nisha Biswal also discussed declining global trust in global media in the internet age, the evolving role of media and reporting, the way ahead for efforts to stimulate the Indian economy, and how India could benefit from the U.S.-China trade dispute.
For more information, please contact Carolyn Posner
USIBC President Nisha Biswal joined the 2019 Indiaspora Global Forum for a discussion on Geopolitics with the Global Diaspora, which included New York Consul General Sandeep Chakraborty, former Ambassador to India and The Asia Group Vice Chairman Rich Verma, and India Inc. Founder and CEO Manoj Ladwa. The panel discussion focused on opportunities for U.S.-India commercial growth in the current gloal economy and how the US-China trade tensions are impacting India. The conversation also touched on larger global headwinds, including ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The Forum is an annual flagship event which gathers leaders in the field for discussions andl networking on issues that affect the Indian diaspora.
For more information on the Indiaspora event, please contact Indiaspora Communications and Outreach Manager Mansi Patel.
Pratham hosted an evening Gala event for the New York tri-state area, featuring a Sufi benefit concert by A.R. Rahman musical performance by acclaimed Indian music director, singer and producer A.R. Rahman.
USIBC, FICCI and Wipro kicked off a 7-day, 6-city visit by Governor Phil Murphy and a New Jersey delegation with a business roundtable event in New Delhi. While the state enjoys longstanding ties to India, including a vibrant Indian diaspora community, Murphy is the first sitting New Jersey governor to travel to the country. The event opened with welcoming remarks from Biocon Chairperson & Managing Director and USIBC Board Member Kiran Muzumdar-Shaw, who emphasized the state’s importance as a hub for life sciences, medical technology, clean energy and manufacturing. Speakers also included Wipro Chief Legal Officer Deepak Acharya, U.S. Embassy Minister Counselor Robert Garverick, and USIBC India Managing Director Ambika Sharma.
USIBC hosted a delegation of senior leaders from India, led by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a dinner discussion focused on advancing the U.S.-India partnership. The delegation included senior Indian government officials, members of parliament, academics and members of the press whose views play a role in shaping the U.S.-India strategic and commercial partnership. The evening featured an armchair discussion moderated by USIBC President Nisha Biswal between U.S. Congressman Ami Bera and Indian Member of Parliament Manish Tewari. Topics included Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recently unveiled economic reforms, priority sectors for Prime Minister Modi’s second term, and emerging opportunities for U.S. and international business in India.
For more information, please contact Jasjit Singh.
Want More South Asia News?
Check out Foreign Policy’s new weekly South Asia Brief, which provides news and analysis from the world’s fastest-growing region, with an eye to business and technology. Written by Foreign Policy managing editor Ravi Agrawal and deputy editor Kathryn Salam.
South Asia Update
September 12 – U.S. Chamber Hosts Sri Lankan Ambassador Rodney Perera
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s South Asia division hosted the Honorable Rodney Perera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States. Ambassador Perera, who assumed his duties in July, engaged with a small group of member companies from a variety of sectors. He identified Information Technology, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Food & Agriculture, and Expanded Tourism as industries Sri Lanka is eagerly seeking investment. This meeting served as an initial step to gauging member company interest in the revitalization of the U.S.-Sri Lanka Working Group at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as offering company representatives to speak directly with the Ambassador.
- Nisha Biswal on President Trump at Howdy Modi & U.S.-India trade talks (Video, India Today, September 17)
- “Strong Bilateral Partnership Between New Jersey And India To Promote Inclusive Economic Growth And New Investments: New Jersey Governor” (Business Standard, September 17)
- Mahindra launches a new flagship office in Washington, DC “Mahindra marks presence in Washington” (Economic Times, September 12)
- Nisha Biswal on bolstering FDI into India: “For U.S. Investment, India Needs Policy Stability, Coherence (The Hindu, September 7)
Nisha Moderates: Navigating U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities and Sanctions India on the Hill
a collaboration between the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) & Heritage Foundation Washington, DC
Howdy Modi!: A Community Summit in Honor of PM Modi & CEO Energy Roundtable Houston, TX
Follow the Event
U.S.-India Cyber Consultation
U.S.-India Gas Task Force Meeting (9/16) & Gastech
USTDA Reverse Trade Mission on Rail Maintenance, Efficiency and Safety
Supported by USIBC and the U.S.-Bangladesh Working Group
Minneapolis, MN & Washington, DC
Arkansas-India Business Roundtable
In partnership with CII
Indiana-India Business Roundtable
In partnership with CII
Webinar:Industrial Parks and Industrial Corridors – Business Enabling Ecosystems
In partnership with Sannam S4, Mahindra & the U.S. Department of Commerce
Partner Event: Bloomberg Equality Summit