WASHINGTON, D.C.— Celebrating its 42nd year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S.-India Business Council’s (USIBC) Annual Leadership Summit this week featured Vice President of the United States Mike Pence and other high-ranking government and private sector leaders to address USIBC members and guests.
The Leadership Summit focused on the important role of the private sector in advancing the ties between the two countries, the future of the U.S.-India economic relationship, as well as strengthening and deepening the U.S.-India defense partnership.
“The partnership between the U.S. and India has never been more important,” said John Chambers, USIBC chairman and executive chairman of Cisco. “Both governments are deeply committed to creating greater economic opportunity for their citizens. The USIBC does just that by advancing bilateral cooperation between the two nations. I’m incredibly proud of the impact we’ve had so far in driving economic growth, job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship in both nations, and we look forward to shaping the future of both countries by doubling down on our efforts in the years to come.”
The summit welcomed addresses from the Ambassador of India to the United States Navtej Sarna and Congressman Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Committee on Rules.
USIBC presented its prestigious annual “Global Leadership Awards” to Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, and Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group. Both were honored for creating inclusive business environments, integrating India in the global supply chain and advancing core values such as manufacturing, innovation and scale in tough market conditions.
“Advanced technologies from companies such as Dow will deliver decisive contributions to help India realize its full potential, including economic diversification, sustainable growth and innovation,” Liveris said. “It is my honor to accept this award on behalf of Dow’s many innovators, manufacturers and problem-solvers who work every day to strengthen the U.S.-India partnership.”
“I would like to thank the U.S.-India Business Council for honoring me with the Global Leadership Award. The United States and India enjoy a strong economic relationship, both in terms of trade and investment. With India’s strong expected growth over the next few years, this relationship will grow multifold and will be helped by the excellent work by the U.S.-India Business Council,” said Godrej on receiving the award.
“It is our pleasure honoring these two industry leaders that have made tremendous strides in their businesses. They are indicative of the power of private enterprise in building strong ties between India and the U.S. As both governments prioritize their domestic and foreign trade policies, we encourage fostering environments that grow businesses and advance economic opportunity in both India and the United States. We also congratulate President Trump and Prime Minister Modi on having completed a successful first round of talks and look forward to future engagements,” stated USIBC President Mukesh Aghi.
“The U.S.-India relationship is a powerful bond that has produced enormous value and advancements for both countries and the world over – from technology and industry to culture and education. By promoting and stimulating closer collaboration, particularly through the increased flow of trade, knowledge and diplomatic relations, we stand to create enormous value for companies, communities and individuals of both nations. The endeavors led in partnership by Prime Minister Modi, influential organizations like the USIBC and U.S. industry are critical to this endeavor. As a proud member supporting the efforts of the USIBC, we applaud all those who have stepped up to drive changes that will realize the full potential of this relationship,” Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman International, said.
“India-U.S. trade relations have the opportunity like never before of growing exponentially under Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ and President Trump’s ‘America First’ visions; the synergy between the two must be explored and exploited towards mutual benefit. SpiceJet is pleased to have announced an order of 205 Boeing 737 Max aircraft worth $22 billion, creating or sustaining 132,000 jobs in the U.S. An additional order of 20 airplanes was announced June 19, further adding 13,000 jobs in the U.S. There is now an opportunity for technologically advanced American companies to ‘Make in India’, including the likes of Boeing, to build commercial airplane parts in India. Please come and leverage the advantages of not only the fastest growing economy in the world but also the fastest growing aviation market in the world,” said Ajay Singh, CEO, SpiceJet.
The summit featured a dialogue on “Achieving Common Goals: Prosperity & Jobs for All” moderated by Politico Editor P. J. Joshi and featured global CEOs Andrew Liveris, Adi Godrej, and Ajay Singh. The discussion highlighted major occurrences in the global economy that could influence the future of the workforce and employment, challenges that businesses face in the current environment, as well as the importance of U.S.-India partnership for the global economic order.
The Summit also held a panel discussion on the U.S.-India defense and strategic partnership, with Congressman George Holding, Co-Chair, U.S.-India House Caucus and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Co-Chair, U.S.-India House Caucus. Moderated by USIBC Board Member and Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin International John Rood, the panelists discussed the growing opportunities for both nations in building a dynamic strategic partnership.
USIBC also presented its inaugural “Artistic Achievement Award” to Yashwant Shirwadkar, a visionary and master in impressionistic landscape painting inspired by scenic cities in India.
Attending companies included leaders from MasterCard, Bank of America, Boeing, Amazon, General Atomics, Transunion, American Tower, Prudential Financial, KPMG, Caterpillar, Amway, and Spice Jet, among others.