Interactive Session with U.S. Secretary of Commerce -31 July 2014, New Delhi
The U.S. team led by Commerce Secretary Pritzker laid great emphasis on infrastructure projects and the role expected from high technology companies from the U.S. The U.S. Government has offered FINANCING of pilot projects in the energy sector, specially relating to energy efficiency, smart grid and smart city projects. The emphasis and focus has clearly shifted to addressing fundamental concerns of the Indian economy, namely, energy, railways, aviation, water resources and related infrastructure topics. It was expected that Secretary Pritzker and Deputy Secretary Poneman will address the economic aspects under the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue for which the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, while he was visiting India.
CEOs of American companies led by Mr. Banmali Agrawala, Chairman of Amcham and President & CEO of GE South Asia, briefed Secretary Pritzker on infrastructure project opportunities opening up for U.S. MNCs. The focus of the interaction was on energy, civil aviation, telecom and other infrastructure related projects.
Mr. Venkatesh Valluri, Chairman, U.S.-India Energy Cooperation Program (ECP); and Chairman & President of Ingersoll Rand, and Mr. Zubin J. Irani, Senior Managing Director, United Technologies Corporation, emphasized that technological solution for energy efficiency, smart grid and smart cities resides with American companies which are world leaders in these sectors. Industry leaders felt that perhaps larger consortia of U.S. businesses focused primarily on key infrastructure development projects would make for a more concerted effort, and also the US funding agencies should evolve an integrated outreach which are in sync with these plans.
Ms. Kumud Srinivasan, President – Intel India; and Mr. Rajiv Singh, Managing Director, Datacard India, briefed the visiting Secretary on the role of IT in large infrastructure projects.
There was general agreement that the Government of India welcomes U.S. high technology companies and is increasingly willing to discuss technological solutions to address infrastructure concerns in the country.
Echoing the sentiments, Mr. Palash Roy Chowdhury, Country Manager – India of Pratt & Whitney, elaborated on the civil aviation sector. Opportunities in low cost airports, MROs and civil aviation sector were discussed.
Telecom emerged as another important area where the Indian Government is committed to broadband connectivity throughout the length and breadth of the country. Mr. Amit Sharma, Executive Vice President, President Asia of American Tower Corporation, emphasized the huge scale of broadband outlay is opening up several opportunities as the Government is committed to a genuine desire to reach out to rural masses through telecom connectivity. Broadband connectivity would be essential for rolling out the Government of India’s plans for ensuring that IT enabled services are available to all segments of the society and will no longer be limited to the metros.