American Companies, Indian Infrastructure and a USG-India Smart Cities Trade Mission


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Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Speaks at U.S.-India Infrastructure Roundtable
Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Speaks at U.S.-India Infrastructure Roundtable

On Monday, as part of the inaugural U.S. – India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews spoke at a high-level U.S.-India Infrastructure Roundtable. Hosted by the International Trade Administration (ITA), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and 32 Advisors, the unique roundtable  focused on challenges and solutions to increasing infrastructure investment in India and opportunities for U.S. firms. A high-level Indian private sector delegation, premier American companies and senior officials from across the U.S. Government discussed opportunities in a structured conversation and developed action-oriented next steps to shape a better infrastructure marketplace. 

Deputy Secretary Andrews spoke to the incredible opportunities for U.S. companies in infrastructure development in India. He highlighted the fact that India is an attractive target for U.S. companies offering services across the infrastructure sphere. He also touched on the work Bureaus across the Department are engaged in on the Smart Cities front. U.S. industry has been named the lead for three Smart Cities, Vishakakhapatnam (Vizag), Ajmer and Allahabad.

Deputy Secretary Andrews was joined by Secretary Amitabh Kant, part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in the Government of India, who discussed the importance of entrepreneurship at the state level in India and the complexities of doing business in India. Secretary Kant stressed that India is one of the most open economies in the world and that given the surging population, it is critical that it become a hub of job creation. To increase prospects for employment and to sustain India’s growth, Secretary Kant emphasized the importance of building and maintaining world-class infrastructure. To realize its potential in infrastructure, India will need to better develop its capital markets and long-term financing viability.

Following remarks by Deputy Secretary Andrews and Secretary Kant, a panel which included Director Leocadia Zak of USTDA alongside Indian business leaders discussed ­­­­­­­­India’s infrastructure development, infrastructure financing and Smart Cities. The panelists highlighted the importance of US-India collaboration in working toward the goals set for the three US industry-led Smart Cities, the investment opportunities emerging from India’s dynamic growth, the positive changes in India’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) model and the panel echoed the value in US companies sharing best practices in building disaster-resilient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure with Indian firms.

The ensuing discussion touched upon infrastructure financing, India’s PPP model and the work ITA is doing in India’s infrastructure space. Representatives from ITA discussed ITA’s Global Infrastructure Initiative and the work it is doing to connect US companies with infrastructure projects across India. Private sector pushed for greater Government engagement to help spur assistance with financing as this remains a central challenge; not for a lack of funds, but a lack of well-prepared projects.

ITA announced the creation of an Infrastructure Working Group to encourage more private sector participation in their Strategic Partnerships.

Deputy Secretary Andrews and Secretary Kant were encouraged by the actionable next steps and will use them to progress towards the Trade Mission visiting Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai in February 2016. 

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Last updated: 2015-10-19 12:44

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