Washington, D.C. – The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) hosted its first Annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., highlighting the Forum’s commitment to furthering the strategic partnership between the U.S. and India.
The theme of this year’s Summit, “Strengthening the Strategic Partnership,” was prevalent across the various sessions throughout the day, which brought together high-level industry and government leaders from the U.S. and India. Discussions focused on the value of the U.S.-India partnership between the two countries and how their shared values of democracy, security, and sustainability are being applied in both business and government to spur job creation, encourage innovation, and accelerate economic growth.
Key stakeholders traveled from around the world to attend the Summit and discuss why now is such a pivotal time to create a most influential strategic partnership between the U.S. and India, including Government of India officials, business leaders from the U.S. and India, and government officials in the United States. Notably, this year’s Summit featured former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who participated in a fireside chat with USISPF’s Chairman, John Chambers, former Executive Chairman and CEO of Cisco and current CEO and Founder of JC2 Ventures, a purpose-driven venture capital firm.
“It was an honor to travel to Washington, D.C. today for the first annual USISPF Leadership Summit,” said John Chambers, Chairman of USISPF. “We were able to come together as a group a year after the launch of USISPF to recognize the progress we’ve made on our goals, as well as to talk about the current state of the U.S.-India relationship and how we can continue the momentum we’ve built. USISPF is working on projects that have never been done before that are solving some of the biggest challenges in the world today and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished. I remain optimistic about the future of the world’s two largest democracies and the strategic partnership we are working to build.”
Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of USISPF, opened the event, saying, “Over the past year, we’ve heard from our members that they appreciate the hands-on approach that our team has taken on their specific needs and issues. In addition, governments on both sides are engaging with The Forum actively for input on policies and ideas for public-private partnerships. We are excited to continue to work with all of our partners to strengthen economic and commercial ties, while also fostering a robust and dynamic relationship between the two countries through policy advocacy that will lead to driving economic growth, entrepreneurship, employment, and innovation to create a more inclusive society as a whole.”
The day’s events included talks from speakers such as: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH); Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK); USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney; the Honorable Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the United States; Jeffrey Gerrish, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus. Approximately 300 senior level business leaders and investors attended the Summit from companies including but not limited to Wal-Mart, Dow, Boeing International, Abbot, Amway, and Bank of America. During the Summit, D. Jim Umpleby III, CEO of Caterpillar Inc. and Ajay Singh, CEO of Spice Jet, were awarded the USISPF Leadership Awards, an honor established by the Forum to commend excellence in transformative leadership and public service, along with each leaders’ role in expanding trade and collaboration between the U.S. and India.
The Summit followed a year where India has seen unprecedented global economic growth. As the fastest growing economy in the world and soon to be third largest consumer economy, India is of vital interest to the U.S. with regard to trade, technology and innovation. Led by the most prominent leaders in U.S.-India relations, USISPF has already been instrumental in furthering this partnership during the organization’s first year of existence. Since last August, USISPF has made significant strides to deliver on the mission of bringing together businesses and governments from both countries in new ways to create meaningful opportunities for citizens and future generations.