New Delhi: Indo-US ties and bilateral relationships get a further shot in the arm with the visit of a high powered India delegation to the US over four days of structured meetings with different government heads of state. The finale would be on the concluding day when Sunil Mittal will be granted audience with Hillary Clinton.
Led by Sunil Bharti Mittal, newly elected President of CII, the delegation comprises of head honchos like Hari Bhartia, Jubilant Organosys, CK Birla, Chairman, Hindustan Motor, Tarun Das, Chief Mentor, CII, Atu Punj, Chairman, Punj Lloyd, Analjit Singh, Chairman, Max India and Suhel Seth, Mg Dir Counselage India.
Highlights of the meeting
* Meetings prominent thought leaders, opinion makers, senators and government officials in US including Nick Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, US Department of State; Frank Lavin, Under Secretary, US Department of Commerce; Michael Johanns, Secretary Agriculture, Senator Max Baucus, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance; Ambassador Karan Bhatia, Deputy USTR ; Rod Hunter, Senior Director for International Trade, Energy and the Environment, National Security Council, White House; Karen Harbert, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs and Sam Bodman, Secretary, Department of Energy.
* Members also interacted with business leaders of USIBC including Michael Duke, Vice Chairman, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Asia Society, Indian American Business Council and think tanks .
* Issues relating to H1B visas, banking licences, GSP for Gems and Jewellery, state taxes in USA (especially in New Jersey) and their implications on the Indian companies in the US were taken up strongly.
* Focus was also on the Business Roundtable, chaired by Harold McGraw III, President and CEO, THe McGraw -Hill Companies.
Earlier chairmen of the Business Roundtable have included Fred Borch, Chief Executive, General Electric. This group focuses on business sector’s role in public policy and advocacy and comprises CEOs from various corporations who come together to present practical and positive proposals for actions, and have a positive impact on government policy making.
New and emerging areas of business will be discussed with this group. Other US business CEOs who are expected to attend this meeting include CEOs of Honeywell International, Inc, CIGNA Corporation, Liberty Mutual Group, Fannie Mae, Caterpillar Inc, Weyerhaeuser Company, Con-way Incorporated and Solectron Corporation.
The CII delegation highlighted India’s growing and robust economy, its inclusive challenges, the key focus areas of investment in health, education, water, infrastructure and women empowerment. The delegation also met up with Nick Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs and Mr Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for a discussion on the Indo - US Civil Nuclear Agreement.
The meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton is being watched carefully by industry watchers to get insights into what the future months and years will hold not just for the CII delegation but for Indian’s corporate sector and the political relationship between the two nations.