Interactive Roundtable with Chargé d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson, U.S. Embassy 31st May 2017

Chargé d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson, U.S. Embassy, hosted a closed door interactive roundtable for AMCHAM’s leadership on 31st May 2017 at ACSA, U.S. Embassy. CDA Carlson welcomed members and gave a brief overview of the economic and political landscape between both countries. Mr. Gulshan Sachdev, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM and Managing Director, Quaker Chemical India, gave opening remarks. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM and Mr. Pratyush Kumar, Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India, also gave remarks.

The discussion focused on challenges and opportunities in the U.S. – India economic partnership. It was a productive discussion on aviation, defense, healthcare, medical devices, ICT, intellectual property rights, cyber security and agriculture and food processing. It was envisaged that regular roundtables would occur with AMCHAM to apprise the embassy of industry concerns.

CDA Carlson was joined by the following U.S. Embassy officials in the meeting:

  • Patrick Santillo, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs
  • Chad Norberg, Trade and Technology Unit Chief
  • Mark Wallace, Agricultural Attache – India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
  • Major Joshua Hallada, Director, Defense Cooperation in Armaments (DCA), Office of Defense Cooperation
  • Dinah McDougall, Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy
  • Rachel Duran, Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.

Meeting with Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion 30th May 2017

A meeting with Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), was held on 30th May 2017 for DIPP partnering with AMCHAM India members through their initiative on ‘Start Up India’ and on similar lines as the Innovation Growth Program being spearheaded by Lockheed Martin. Mr. Phil Shaw, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive – India, Lockheed Martin India Private Limited, updated Mr. Aggarwal on the 10 year old program, leading to commercialization of 400 innovations and generating revenue of $1 billion in the Indian economy. DIPP has offered their support to work on a PPP model for ‘Start Up India’ and generate technology requirements to U.S. companies.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.

Meeting with Mr. Santosh Jha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and DCM designate, Indian Embassy, Washington D.C. 29th May 2017

A meeting was held with Mr. Santosh Jha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and DCM Designate, Indian Embassy, Washington D.C., on 29th May 2017. Mr. Pratyush Kumar, Chairman, AMCHAM India, and President, Boeing India; Ms. Kaku Nakhate, Member of National Executive Board, AMCHAM and President & Country Head (India), Bank of America N.A.; Mr. Phil Shaw, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive – India, Lockheed Martin India Private Limited; Mr. Prabal Chakraborty, Chairman – Medical Devices Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President and Managing Director, Boston Scientific India Pvt. Ltd., and Mr. Ankur Malhotra, Vice President – Govt. Relations and Public Policy, Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd.; updated Mr. Jha on the concerns of AMCHAM India members during their operations in India. Following up on the discussions, brief notes on healthcare and ICT have been sent to him.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.

Session on U.S. Visa 27th May 2017

Approximately 40 members attended a session on U.S. visas that was held at the office of AMD on 27th May 2017. It began with an introduction by Dr. Kiranmai Pendyala, Chairperson – Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM and VP HR Global and COO of AMD. Mr. Adam Ferguson, Fraud Prevention Manager from the US Consulate Hyderabad gave a presentation on U.S. visas and opened the floor for questions. Many questions were raised by various company representatives and they were answered satisfactorily.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.

Breakfast Meeting: Smart Business Infrastructure – Experience of living and working in Chennai 26th May 2017

AMCHAM, in partnership with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, held a breakfast meeting on Friday, May 26, 2017 at Hotel Westin Velachery. Mr. R. Ramkumar, Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM, chaired the meeting, which featured guest speaker Mr. John Fleming, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, Chennai.

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Ramkumar, who in his opening remarks spoke about how the U.S. Consulate and the FCS has supported AMCHAM in many events and in escalating some of the legacy issues with the state government. He thanked Mr. John Fleming for his support and wished him all the very best in his new assignment in Myanmar. PCO John Fleming began by mentioning that during his work association with Mr. Patrick Santillo, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, he has picked up the theme of ‘Three Universal Truths’ which he would relate to his experience in south India.

The First Truth: He was unprepared for India, ‘we think we know, but we don’t.’ Mr. Fleming added that diversity in south India is amazing – there are different languages, culture, food, clothing, geography, landscapes, all of which he discovered and learnt during his tour of duty here. His work required a lot of business trips across south India, unlike in his earlier posting at Osaka, where he made probably made only 3 or 4 trips a year. The Second Truth: India is a beautiful country and its tourism slogan ‘Incredible India’ is true. The country has much to offer with its beaches, rain forests, jungles, deserts, mountains etc. Mr. Fleming added that sadly, clean India is not something he experienced, the view from a hilltop near Mysore was beautiful, but the amount of thrash strewn everywhere was disappointing. Graffiti on monuments and even in rock caves made him sad, he added. As part of work, he made extra efforts to emphasize on a clean environment as part of the CSR efforts of companies in the programs he attended. Mr. John Fleming stated that some of the parameters on his performance ratings included clients assisted; exports transacted; business successes among other are important. He mentioned ‘tree planting’ as an important activity and said that this is a great tradition in India. The Third Truth: Indian food is very spicy and that there are so many varieties of spices added to the food to make it distinctly flavored. India has an amazing array of sweets and his favourite is the ‘gulab jamoon.’ Mr Fleming said that, ‘life is a journey and it is not about the places you visited, but about the people you meet.’ Mr. John Fleming observed that his tenure in Chennai was a turbulent period in the city’s history. First it was the unprecedented floods in December 2015, when he had to move his family to a safe zone, then two cyclones and now a massive spell of drought. Then there was the passing away of a popular Chief Minister of the state which caused a great outpouring of grief among the people.

Mr. John Fleming thanked AMCHAM for its continuous support and some of the instances he recalled included the trade mission to Colombo; the Bay of Bengal Business Forum in Port Blair; Smart Cities Trade mission led by Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Anderson, informative briefings to visitors from Washington D.C. etc. The Principal Commercial Officer presented AMCHAM India with a citation in recognition of the partnership with the FCS. Mr. Fleming announced that Mr. Jim Fluker will be the next Principal Commercial Officer and would be arriving in early August. He would be responsible for Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.

Meeting with Ms. Shilpa Prabhakar Satish IAS, Executive Vice Chairperson, Tamil Nadu Guidance Bureau 26th May 2017

On 26th May, Mr. R. Ramkumar, Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM and Mr. Aubrey Daniels, Regional Director – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM, had a meeting with Ms. Shipla Prabhakar Satish, Executive Vice Chairperson, Tamil Nadu Guidance Bureau, to explore ways by which AMCHAM can work with the government of Tamil Nadu and also to open a channel by which American companies can find solutions to challenges in business operations in the state.

Mr. Ramkumar spoke about what MNC’s see as the strengths of the state and how they have located here and created many hundreds of thousands of jobs by bringing in foreign direct investment. He added that there is a trend in Tamil Nadu where manufacturing companies are co-locating their business process offices, engineering and design centers in the same city where the manufacturing facilities exist. He cited the examples of Ford and Caterpillar. Mr. Ramkumar said that American companies would be willing to participate in the next Global Investor Meet scheduled for 2018. He also thanked the Tamil Nadu government for resolving some of the legacy issues such as the nomenclature and classification as IT products manufactured by NCR Corporation. He also requested the government to consider early resolution to the long pending VAT reimbursements and also procedural clearances by statutory bodies such as the Pollution Control Board and the local governments.

In her response, Ms. Shilpa Prabhakar Satish requested AMCHAM to send her a note on all pending issues faced by American companies, however small, including issues like delays in receiving clearances and renewals from government departments. She said that she would take up these issues during the monthly inter department meetings and keep sending reminders till they have been resolved. Referring to the peaceful industrial climate in the state, the Executive Vice Chairperson stated that the government would not let the labour situation go out of control. To this Mr. Ramkumar responded by saying that clients in the West were very cautious about the labour situation and that they would move their jobs and projects to states where the situation was more peaceful. Ms. Shilpa Prabhakar Satish appreciated this point of view and said that the government is in the process of bringing out its new industrial policy and also re-vitalising the ‘single window’ in a bid to make the ease of doing business what it should be to attract investments into Tamil Nadu.

AMCHAM invited the Executive Vice Chairperson to address members at a breakfast meeting any time during July to September.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.