On September 22, 2011, the U.S.-India CEO Forum met under CEO Forum co-chairs Ratan Tata and David Cote in Washington, DC. The co-chairs welcomed the participation of Indian Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk, Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman, and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, along with the participating CEOs of U.S. and Indian companies. The Forum was hosted by Deputy Secretaries of State William Burns and Thomas Nides.
In a report presented to President Obama and Prime Minister Singh at the November 2009 Summit, the Forum’s 24 members recommended that the U.S. and Indian governments bolster the bilateral relationship by facilitating greater economic and institutional collaboration focused on clean energy, infrastructure, biotechnology and e-health, and education, among other areas. At the meeting, the Forum reviewed progress on past recommendations, identified initiatives that have been completed since the last round of the CEO Forum in November 2010, and highlighted new initiatives undertaken by U.S. and Indian public and private sector groups for 2011.
“The CEO Forum’s recommendations have provided a roadmap to strengthen the economic bilateral relationship between India and the United States and creating jobs. Honeywell will continue to do all we can to promote the strong commercial ties that bring peace and prosperity to both countries. Economics and globalization is not a zero-sum game. India’s growing economy should not be seen as a burden on the U.S., nor a symbol of our failure and India’s success. Job creation there does not equate to job loss here. I look forward to making more progress and putting the Forum’s recommendations into action.”
-- Mr. David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell
“We all appreciate the high-level of engagement shown by the Government co-Chairs, as well as Cabinet Ministers on both sides. Going forward, there are several areas on which there needs to be progress and the Forum could also take on certain projects and initiatives that the CEOs can work collaboratively on. Areas that were considered for CEO Forum action include clean drinking water, water conservation and building energy efficiency.”
-- Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons
The members of the U.S.-India CEO Forum are pleased with the commitment of the U.S. and Indian governments to prioritize this important economic and strategic relationship. The members of the CEO Forum look forward to continuing joint efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment and promote corporate partnership as a way to realize the tremendous potential of this relationship. At the recommendation of the CEOs, the U.S. and Indian government have taken the following steps:
Clean Energy: The U.S. and Indian governments established a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center which will mobilize up to $100 million in public and private sector funds to facilitate research and development in breakthrough technologies over five years. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) recently approved two new private equity funds, which plan to invest $600 million in the Asian renewable and clean tech sectors, of which approximately $350 million will target Indian hydro, biomass, wind, and solar power projects. This follows the approval of a $300 million South Asia Clean Energy Fund by OPIC, nearly all of which will target India. In addition, OPIC expects to commit more than $520 million of financing and insurance for Indian solar projects by end-2011. The Export-Import Bank (EXIM) has also financed $75 million worth of solar power generating projects in India and is considering loans worth an additional $500 million to support India's growing solar infrastructure. EXIM, OPIC and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) joined together to support India’s National Solar Mission projects. The U.S. and Indian governments signed an MOU on Unconventional Natural Gas Cooperation under the Global Shale Gas Initiative, and will soon release the results of the survey.
Technology, Health, Agriculture, and Education: The U.S. and Indian governments established a Global Disease Detection Center in New Delhi to collaborate on research on diseases of the developing world. The India-U.S. Science and Technology Endowment Fund has shortlisted 32 joint India-U.S. research and development project in healthcare from the 381 proposals initially reached. The U.S.-India Higher Education Summit will take place on October 13 in Washington, DC. In addition, the two governments have announced an annual Higher Education Dialogue as a forum for deepening linkages and cooperation. Beginning in 2012, it will be co-chaired by the U.S. Secretary of State and India’s Minister for Human Resource Development and include higher education officials and private sector representatives on a rotating basis. Since November 2010, the U.S.-India Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution has deployed resources and expertise in order to improve productivity, food processing, farm-to-market and cold chain logistics systems in India. The U.S.-India S&T Endowment Board, established in 2009 to promote commercialization of innovative technologies, recently shortlisted more than 30 joint India-U.S. research and development projects and the Board expects to announce up to $500,000 in awards by the end of the year to improve health and empower citizens in both countries. In July 2011, the U.S. and Indian governments established Consular Affairs Working Group to consider consular issues.
Homeland Security and Aviation: In May 2011, India revised its Telecommunications Security Guidelines. The U.S. and India signed the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) in July 2011, and are boosting trade and collaboration on aviation security, airport infrastructure, and air traffic management. In May 2011, the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Indian Minister of Home Affairs discussed enhancing cooperation in homeland security and counter-terrorism during the inaugural Homeland Security Dialogue (HSD). The HSD also focused on global supply chain security, including port, border, and coastal security; mega city policing; cyber security and critical infrastructure protection, combating illicit finance, capacity building and counter-terrorism and homeland security equipment, technology and systems.
Trade and Investment: In June 2011, the U.S. and Indian government agreed to resume technical discussions on a Bilateral Investment Treaty. In order to facilitate greater high-tech and strategic trade, in line with global non-proliferation efforts, the U.S and India agreed to work cooperatively towards India’s admission into the four multilateral export control regimes in a phased manner. The U.S. agreed to remove Indian defense and space-related entities from the U.S. “Entity List,” among other actions. In January 2011, the Indian government broadened its definition of defense offsets to allow for aerospace and homeland security projects to qualify.
New Initiatives Announced at the September 2011 Meeting: