WASHINGTON--(available here.))--The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today hosted its 37th Anniversary Leadership Summit, bringing together U.S. and Indian industry and government leaders to chart the way forward in the partnership between the world’s largest democracies. USIBC Chairman Ajay Banga, MasterCard Worldwide President & CEO, invigorated the crowd with a speech urging deeper collaboration between the U.S. and India and the importance of investment and action from the business community. (Full remarks
“Make no mistake, these opportunities exist because we, as U.S. business leaders, have chosen to invest our valuable time, energy, and resources in India…and we have chosen to pursue relationships with India for the long-term.”
“Let us not forget that India and the United States share a common DNA. Our mutual values of freedom, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit bind us in a common cause. There is no doubt our countries were born to be together!” said Banga to a crowd of 350 of the most senior industry and government officials in the U.S.-India commercial relationship.
USIBC Chairman Banga spoke of India’s miraculous economic rise since its liberalization in 1991, and urged investors to focus on the challenges that still remain: “those matters that affect people in their daily lives…jobs, education, healthcare, infrastructure, safety and security, food, and water…basic quality of life needs essential to human dignity and to progress. These also happen to be the areas of maximum interest for American investors,” Banga stated. “Make no mistake, these opportunities exist because we, as U.S. business leaders, have chosen to invest our valuable time, energy, and resources in India…and we have chosen to pursue relationships with India for the long-term.”
As both the U.S. and India approach coming national elections, the political waters are likely to grow more challenging to navigate. Chairman Banga called on both nations to push for a Bilateral Investment Treaty and stated that, business must ensure both governments keep up the advance of progress, despite the politics. “Thinking big, I propose that we begin thinking beyond a Bilateral Investment Treaty to a Free Trade Arrangement. That would be a real game-changer,” Banga said.
Ajay Banga officially took the reins of leadership from outgoing USIBC Chairman, Harold “Terry” McGraw III, President, & CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Also during the Leadership Summit, USIBC bestowed Global Leadership Awards on U.S. industry leader Alan Mulally, President & CEO, Ford Motor Company, and Indian industry leader Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman& Managing Director, The Mahindra Group, for their outstanding contributions to the U.S.-India growth story. Ford Motor Company has recently laid the foundation stone for its new $906 million manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat. The plant, to be operational in 2014, will produce 240,000 Ford automobiles and 270,000 engines a year. This is in addition to Fords’ already expansive operations in Chennai. The Mahindra Group continues to invest heavily in the American agricultural sector. Since starting Mahindra USA in 1994, the company has grown 20 times over and sold over 10,000 tractors. More than 90% of their employees in this enterprise are American. The USIBC Global Leadership Awards underscore the USIBC’s appreciation of the importance for deepening manufacturing collaboration between the world’s largest free-market democracies.
USIBC’s Proud History
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 and trade ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association, headquartered in Washington, DC, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of more than 350 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. Ajay Banga, President & CEO of MasterCard Worldwide, was elected to serve as USIBC’s chairman in April 2012. For more information, visit www.usibc.com.