U.S.-India Business Council Concludes Successful Mission to India on Trade-Led Growth

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The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) fielded a delegation of senior executives to New Delhi, India, to meet with government officials and key stakeholders to discuss trade and investment-led growth strategies.

The delegation was led by Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, former U.S. Ambassador to India and International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs. Other members of the delegation included the Honorable Kenneth I. Juster, Partner and Managing Director, Warburg Pincus; Nelson Cunningham, President and Cofounder, McLarty Associates; Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates; S. Vijay Iyer, Managing Director, Rio Tinto; and Mukesh Aghi, President, U.S.-India Business Council.

The delegation discussed the Government of India’s economic priorities with senior officials across various ministries and the active role that the United States could play in stimulating growth, trade, investment, and jobs. The delegation was also received by the India Foundation and participated in a roundtable discussion on trade organized by the Ananta Institute, and in the Growth Net Summit.

The delegates shared their thoughts on the importance of trade-led growth in powering the economic expansion of emerging markets around the world. The USIBC envoys were keen to understand the challenges that India’s trade policy faces at a time of global economic turbulence, acknowledging that the U.S. too faces similar hurdles. The delegates observed that expanding trade, investment, and employment are all concomitant, and the goals should be pursued simultaneously.

The delegation also reiterated that two measures in particular should be considered as primary avenues to achieve the above objectives: exploring India’s membership in APEC, which could be a stepping stone toward participation in broader regional trade pacts, and negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with the United States. USIBC would welcome an Indian decision to pursue membership in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“A strong trade strategy is a sound national security policy as well, and can contribute to expanding investment and employment,” said Ambassador Frank Wisner, of Squire Patton Boggs. “Americans are happy to see India’s rise to the global high table. The assertion of Indian leadership on climate change and nuclear safety and security are welcome initiatives. We look forward to similar Indian leadership in developing policy aimed at trade and investment.”

USIBC President Mukesh Aghi noted, “India’s exploration of APEC membership, which is potentially an informal precursor to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) membership, could unlock India’s potential as a global manufacturing hub and deepen its ties with the global economy.”

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