WASHINGTON, DC (TIP): The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted, July 11, its 38th Anniversary Leadership Summit, Agenda for Progress , bringing together U.S. and Indian industry and government leaders to chart the way forward in the partnership between the world’s largest democracies.
India’s Union Minister of Commerce & Industries Anand Sharma provided the inaugural address. The summit’s closing keynotes were provided by India’s Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addressed the audience at one of her first public appearances in her new capacity.
USIBC Chairman Ajay Banga, MasterCard President & CEO, energized the crowd with a speech urging deeper industry collaboration between the U.S. and India and the need for political leadership to step up and create transparent, predictable, and consistent business environments in both countries . “We want to broaden and deepen the economic and commercial ties between India and the United States.
We want to strengthen our national security partnership as well. While we may have competing viewpoints on how to get there, there’s no disputing we have one agenda – and that’s helping India-U.S. relations fulfill their promise,” said Banga to a crowd of 350 of the most senior industry and government officials in the U.S.-India commercial space. Banga recognized recent challenges in the relationship, citing issues which have caused great concern to investors including India’s tax policy, local manufacturing restrictions, and challenges to innovation and intellectual property.
“India has an opportunity to grow its pharmaceutical industry, foster innovation, and create competition. It’s in everyone’s interest to find solutions with the private sector. But that prospect is jeopardized when IP is jeopardized.” Banga also drew attention to the problematic provisions in the proposed U.S. immigration bill which discriminate against global technology providers and harms job creation in both countries.
“We believe it’s in our interest not only to open doors to more skilled workers, but also to ensure immigration reform doesn’t discriminate against our partners nor limit U.S. companies from choosing where they source the IT support they need,” he said. “India-U.S. business relations have always been at the heart of the U.S-India partnership. The fact that the U.S-India relationship is under attack by the pain points I’ve just mentioned on both sides makes the search for common ground more timely and crucial,” continued Banga.
“The U.S. is better…India is better…the world is better…when we deepen the commercial and national security ties between the largest and longest-running modern democracies. This is what we have to do.” Also during the leadership summit, USIBC presented its prestigious Global Leadership Awards to industry leaders Louis Chênevert, Chairman and CEO, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), and Analjit Singh, Founder and Chairman, Max India Limited, for their outstanding contributions to the U.S.- India growth story.
A global trailblazer in manufacturing, Mr. Chênevert has led UTC’s significant investments across India in key sectors including commercial building systems and aerospace. Through Max India, Mr. Singh has expanded healthcare across India, founding successful joint ventures with leading American companies to bring technology and innovation to those who need it most.
Max India is a multibusiness corporate, driven by the spirit of enterprise and focused on people and service oriented businesses. These USIBC Global Leadership Awards recognize the role exemplary industry leadership plays in shaping U.S.-India ties. The summit was generously sponsored by members of USIBC, led by Diamond Sponsor Cognizant, a global leader in business and technology services.