Roundtable with Ambassador Frank G. Wisner (U.S. Ambassador to India 1994-97), International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs

 

On Wednesday, 26th July 2017, AMCHAM India’s Western Region held an exclusive roundtable for members with Ambassador Frank G. Wisner (U.S. Ambassador to India 1994-97), International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs on ‘U.S. – India Bilateral Relations: The Ongoing Dialogue Between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump and the Implication to India/U.S. Commercial Interests in Mumbai. The meeting was attended by leaders of AMCHAM member companies, representatives of the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai and senior colleagues of Ambassador Wisner from Squire Patton Boggs. The meeting commenced with a warm welcome by Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, AMCHAM India followed by opening remarks by Mr. Mahesh Krishnamurti – Chairman, AMCHAM Western Region and Managing Director, RGP India, who ushered in the agenda of the significance of U.S. – India bilateral relations along with a brief introduction of Ambassador Wisner for all who were present.

 

Ambassador Frank Wisner began his address by reminiscing the wonderful experience of his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to India from 1994-1997, two decades ago when Mumbai was still Bombay, also highlighting the phenomenal change that India has traversed through the times. He shared a brief introduction to Squire Patton Boggs, an international law firm with a broad reach across the globe advising a diverse mix of local and cross-border clients. The Ambassador in his keynote shared a comprehensive insight into the agenda of President Trump’s administration and on U.S. – India bilateral relations, the implications of the dialogues between the leaderships of the two countries especially on alignment of businesses and the economy, tackling terror, the relationship with China, defense and military partnerships. The Ambassador also shared his observations of the strategic direction for the future of the U.S. – India relationship:

 

  • A strong India is good for the U.S., and vice versa
  • Relationships between the U.S. and India goes beyond our frontiers, over to all of Asia and at the global level
  • We share a key challenge and a coincidence of approach in dealing with China
  • It is based on 3 core pillars – politics, economy and security

 

He concluded by stating that relationship functions best when we set big goals for ourselves. Further, in preparation for his forthcoming meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ambassador invited members present to share insights into issues and challenges for U.S. companies in India to position at the meeting. The discussion brought forth several key topics such as infrastructure financing, fixed pricing, the need for market flexibility, the ease of doing business, capital repatriation, regulatory issues, digitizing India and the need for stronger cyber security.

 

Ms. Jennifer Larson, Acting Consulate General, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai, in a brief address stated that India is no longer seen as rising country, but a risen country, and it is our responsibility as leaders to uphold it. Despite the frustration in the process of growth, she encouraged everyone to remember that this is a long-haul game.

 

The interactive and dynamic roundtable discussion concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Kaku Nakhate, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and President & Country Head,

Bank of America, who thanked Ambassador Frank Wisner for the opportunity to hear of his expert insights. She also extended gratitude to the members of Squire Patton Boggs, the U.S. Consulate Mumbai, the participants and to AMCHAM India. The event was powered by RGP India.