Mukherjee, Sharma, Ahluwalia to attend India-US CEOs meeting

New Delhi, June 18, 2010

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will attend the India-US CEOs Business Meeting to be held in Washington on June 22.

During his stay in Washington, Mr Mukherjee will also have a bilateral meeting with his US counterpart, an official statement said here today.

The businessmen slated to attend the meeting from the Indian side include its co-chair Ratan Tata, Mr Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Limited, Mr S Gopalakrishnan of Infosys, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises, Ms Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank and Mr Deepak Parekh of HDFC.

From the US side, there will be Mr David M Cote of Honeywell, who is also the co-chair, Mr Louis Chenevert, United Technologies Corporation, Mr. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Mr. Terry McGraw from the McGraw Hill Companies, Ms. Indra Nooyi, Pepsi Co. and Mr. Vikram Pandit from Citigroup, among others.

The US-India CEO Forum was first constituted during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's historic visit to Washington in July 2005 for talks with then US President George Bush. It was one of the initiatives for enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. Comprising initially 10 CEOs each from both countries, the CEO Forum was given a mandate to develop a road map for increased partnership and cooperation between the two countries at the business level.

The CEO Forum met again and presented their report and recommendations for enhancing trade and investment in March 2006 in New Delhi during the visit of Mr Bush to India.

The forum has defined six priority initiatives which are promotion of trade and industry, creation of an infrastructure development fund, promotion of technology exchange in Agriculture, Bio-technology and Nano Technology, partnering in skills development, setting up of an Indo-US Centre for Industrial R&D and establishment of a dispute resolution mechanism.

The third meeting of the CEOs Forum was held on October 24, 2006 in New York and its recommendations were submitted to the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, who forwarded them to the concerned Ministries/Departments for necessary action on issues concerning them. The progress/status on each issue was followed up by the Ministry of Finance.

The fourth meeting of the Forum was held in September 2007 in New York in the presence of then Commerce & Industry Minister Kamal Nath and his US counterpart.

Based on the deliberations at the meeting, the Forum submitted a report titled "Recommended Next Steps" in April 2008. This report identified keys issues for implementation. They included Education and Development of Skills, Funding of Growth, Research for Alternative Energy, Visas, Civil Aviation and Air Traffic Control, Electricity, BIT/BIPA & Legacy Issues among others.

Thereafter, the Forum was reconstituted during the last visit of Dr. Singh to Washington in November, 2009 and its first meeting was also held at that time. This will be the second meeting of the reconstituted India-US Business CEOs Forum.


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