Roundtable Interaction with Senior Officials from the State Government of Gujarat at Gandhinagar, Gujarat
AMCHAM India, in partnership with the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai and the U.S. – India Business Council, met with key officials of the Government of Gujarat at Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar on 15thJune 2017. The roundtable meeting saw a sizeable and diverse representation from captains of U.S. industry. The interaction focused on business opportunities and challenges pertaining to investment and operations in the vibrant and progressive state of Gujarat!
The roundtable interaction began with introductory remarks by Mr. M.K. Das, Principal Secretary to the Government of Gujarat, Industries & Mining Department, who welcomed all participants. This was followed by a presentation on Gujarat. A brief introduction was made by all participants from government and industry. The key officials of the state government at the forum included:
- Rajkumar Beniwal, IASManaging Director, iNDEXTb
- Bhupen Singh, MD Gujarat Informatics Ltd
- Dipesh Shah, Head IFSC & Strategy, GIFT City
- Sunil Joshi, President Business Operations, GIFT City
- Rakesh Shankar, CEO Smart City & Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ahmedabad
- M. K. Das, Principal Secretary to the Government of Gujarat, Industries & Mining Department
- Sujit Gulati, Additional Chief Secretary, Energy & Petrochemicals Department
- Poonam Chand Padma, Addl. Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department
- D. Thara, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, GIDC
Consul General Tom Vajda, U.S. Consulate Mumbai, addressed the gathering and stated that he considers himself a ‘strong friend of Gujarat.’ CG Vajda shared the background to the ongoing series of meetings stemming from a very successful meeting on the occasion of Vibrant Gujarat 2017 with the Hon’ble CM, Mr. Vijay Rupani and senior government officials. He also stated that U.S. companies are highly invested in the state with a couple having active operations there while others were exploring opportunities.
Mr. Notty Theriot, Director, USIBC, made his remarks and thanked the senior government officials stating that USIBC looks forward to building on the success from Vibrant Gujarat.
Ms. Kaku Nakhate, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and President & Country Head (India), Bank of America N.A., led the noteworthy 22 member AMCHAM delegation. In her address, she shared that AMCHAM members were pleased to receive the opportunity of the interaction with key officials of the state government. She also highlighted that AMCHAM India has recently celebrated their silver jubilee of its successful presence in India and on the occasion AMCHAM would be pleased to present and leave behind some important publications of AMCHAM India for the Hon’ble CM and his team.
Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, AMCHAM, presented the following AMCHAM publications: booklet with details of AMCHAM Delegates participating in the roundtable, AMCHAM India: AMCHAM India celebrates 25 years of American Companies contribution to India’s economy and U.S. – India friendship, AMCHAM Compendium: U.S. Companies – Partners in India’s Inclusive Growth, Happily Going Miles For Their Smiles: CSR Activities of US Companies in India and Smart Cities: A Capability Deck of US Companies in India.
Ms. Kaku Nakhate stated that AMCHAM’s endeavour has been to embrace the vision as shared by the Hon’ble CM on the occasion of Vibrant Gujarat and the opportunity of the series of roundtables is much appreciated by U.S. companies. She also shared that a couple of participating companies had specific issues wherein they seek the guidance and thoughts of the state government officials, while others present would like to get an insight on the priorities and projects of the state government departments to explore areas of partnership accordingly.
The addresses by the spokespersons of the two organizations was followed by sector specific presentations on the priorities and projects of the state government with a specific focus on smart cities, GIDC and renewable energy.
During the interactive session that followed, AMCHAM member companies positioned their specific issues:
- Amway India shared their challenge with the Direct Selling Guidelines of the state.
- M. Huber India Private Limited positioned their challenge with the Factories Act enactment relating to a medical centre.
- John Deere India Pvt. Ltd. shared their interest to partner with farmers from the state as facilitators to improve their yields and bring contamination free clean cotton. They also gave an insight on their successful PPP with the Gujarat state government sharing their interest to take it to the next level.
- Johnson and Johnson Medical India stated the challenge of the healthcare innovator in getting access to patients treated in government hospitals. They sought support of the government towards their endeavour which is in line with the healthcare initiatives of the state government.
- Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Pvt. Ltd. shared the success story of their Dahej plant and thanked the state government for their support. They also shared their challenge with Industrial Effluent Drainage at Dahej.
- Varian Medical Systems International India Pvt. Ltd. shared that being a leader in the manufacturing of radiotherapy equipment for cancer treatment, their interest was to engage further with the Principal Secretary – Health for establishing cancer treatment centres across the state on PPP basis.
- Monsanto Holdings Pvt. Ltd. thanked the state government officials for their support in the stewardship of Bt Cotton in managing pink bollworm resistance. They also brought to the notice of the officials the proliferation and sale of unauthorized biotech seeds and requested for checks and balances against it.
The interaction continued with discussions and representations from industry representatives, each finding either an immediate solution or a lead on their issues and suggestions with support from the advisory of the senior state government officials present. The roundtable concluded successfully with a vote of thanks by AMCHAM India, Consul General Tom Vajda and USIBC.