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Ahead of Modi’s visit, Indo-US first strategic dialogue begins in Washington

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Washington :Top corporate leaders from India and the US have converged here to hold a series of discussions among themselves and with the leadership of the two countries to find ways for an active private sector engagement in strengthening bilateral ties.

These meetings gain importance given India’s need for massive funding in infrastructure and the ambitious goal set by the two countries to increase bilateral trade to USD 500 billion per annum from the existing about USD 100 billion.

Leading the Indian side of the corporate honchos are Cyrus Mistry, chairman of Tata Group, Kiran Mujumdar Shaw (Biocon), Preeta Reddy (Apollo Hospitals), Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Enterprises), and Anil Ambani (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group).

The group of US CEOs is led by David Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International. He is also Co-Chair of the India-US CEO Forum.

The forum has four Indian-American CEOs Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard; Sanjay Bhatnagar, president and CEO of WaterHealth International, Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe Systems, Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman International Industries.

Other American CEOs include Mary Barra of General Motors, Michael Burke of AECOM Technology Corporation, Ahmad Chatila of SunEdison, Andres Gluski of AES Corporation Paul Jacobs executive chairman of Qualcomm; Charles R Kaye, co-CEO of Warburg Pincus, Ellen Kullman of DuPont, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical Company, Michael Mahoney of Boston Scientific Corporation, Douglas Peterson, of McGraw Hill Financial and James Taiclet of American Tower Corporation.

To increase the role of the private sector, for the first time ever, the Department of Commerce will host its US-India CEO Forum on September 21, in close proximity to the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (SCD), a media statement said.

The CEO Forum—chaired by US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Caroline Atkinson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy US National Security Adviser for International Economics—is the primary mechanism for engaging the US and Indian private sectors and leveraging business leaders’ recommendations to shape policymaking discussions.

The private sector co-chairs will give a readout of their recommendations at the SCD meeting on September 22.

As part of the CEO Forum, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a half-day event featuring remarks from Pritzker and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, and a discussion between US and Indian CEOs on efforts to deepen bilateral economic engagement.

PTI