USIBC members brief John Kerry, Secretary of State, and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at Vibrant Gujarat
January 12, 2015 – Ahmedabad, India: On the sidelines of the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the USIBC Business Delegation to discuss how India and the U.S. can boost bilateral trade-ties.
The meeting held strategic importance, coming just two weeks prior to President Obama’s anticipated arrival as the Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day on January 26.
Reaffirming the U.S. Government’s commitment to expediting opportunities for collaboration and shared growth with India, Kerry assured business delegates that the Obama Administration is engaged in high-level talks on matters related to trade and security. U.S. industry applauds the Secretary’s focus on economic issues, including his leadership in forging the way for a U.S.-India bilateral investment treaty (BIT). “USIBC is delighted to know that the BIT was discussed between Prime Minister Modi and Secretary Kerry at Vibrant Gujarat. When making investment decisions, companies need an environment that is predictable, transparent and consistent. A bilateral investment treaty between India and the U.S. would create this environment and significantly increase investment flows,” Diane Farrell, Acting President, USIBC, said.
Earlier in the meeting, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Catherine Novelli held a breakfast roundtable with senior executives representing a broad spectrum of sectors. U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma, U.S. Consul General from Mumbai Tom Vajda and Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service also joined the meeting. Expressing optimism, the business group remarked that the timing couldn’t have been better to re-look at several areas where regulatory roadblocks have impeded growth in recent years. Among top priorities discussed, USIBC members felt that tax, labor and land reforms, long term infrastructure financing, movement of capital and increasing FDI in key sectors would increase investments in India. It was suggested that the definition of R&D be broadened to spur further innovation in order to leverage the full potential of the talent pool India has to offer.
Diane Farrell, Acting President, USIBC, added, “The U.S. business community is very excited that Mr. Obama is making history by visiting India for the second time during his Presidency. We are keen to leverage the President’s visit to push for a deeper partnership. Initiatives like Make In India, Digital India, and Smart Cities are just some of the great opportunities where U.S. companies can truly partner in India’s growth.”
About U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC):
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.