The Finance Minister of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman recently engaged in a virtual discussion with US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) Board of Directors on the occasion of its 3rd Annual Leadership Summit titled ‘Navigating New Challenges’. USISPF’s week-long summit had included US and Indian government officials at the highest levels including Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, August 31st and an address by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on September 3, 2020.
The USISPF Board of Directors is represented by 21 U.S. and Indian CEOs whose businesses represent a market capitalization of $1.7 trillion, leading influencers of the Indian diaspora, prominent members of the foreign policy fraternity, and senior diplomats from both governments. The Forum’s advisors include eminent leaders like General David Petraeus, Indra Nooyi, and former founding Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog, Prof. Arvind Panagariya.
Attendees at the meeting included: USISPF Chairman John Chambers; Ajay Banga, CEO, Mastercard; Charles Kaye, CEO, Warburg Pincus; Anish Shah, Deputy Managing Director & Group CFO, Mahindra; Shantanu Narayen, Chairman, President & CEO, Adobe; Robert Moritz, Chairman, PwC; Punit Renjen, CEO, Deloitte Global; Jim Umplebey, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar among other fortune 500 leaders.
India continues to be a leading investment destination for US companies, having attracted investments over $20 billion in 2020. The discussion focused on ease of doing business in India; digitization & fintech; agriculture (including agricultural infrastructure); private sector participation across all the sectors of the Indian economy; skill development; healthcare; COVID-19 mitigating measures undertaken by the government & possible future course of actions; role of government spending in the infrastructure sector in the coming years; and manufacturing in India (with a special emphasis on the logistics sector in India).
The United States and India are key strategic partners in various fields including in the economic and financial sphere. The US-India economic and financial partnership is based on the key pillars of development for both the countries that includes robust capital flows, and economic cooperation on issues of global importance. Given the current situation due to COVID-19 outbreak, the Honorable Finance Minister welcomed US companies' investment and partnership with India, especially in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.
On the occasion, USISPF President & CEO, Dr. Mukesh Aghi said, “We believe investments from U.S. companies will create new jobs, facilitate financial inclusion, and broad-based economic development for the Indian economy. It is encouraging to hear the Honorable Finance Minister’s commitment to provide a red-carpet welcome for long-term US investments in the Indian market.”