OdishaPlus Bureau

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address a star-studded virtual summit next week, scheduled on July 21 and 22.

Top (L-R): Nirmala Sitharaman, Mike Pompoe Bottom: S Jaishankar

“The theme for this year’s summit is building a better future,” USIBC President, Nisha Desai Biswal told PTI in an interview. “We are firmly committed to the US-India corridor that builds a better future,” she said.

“India, the US, and their industries working together can not only build a better future for both the countries and its people, but they can actually be instrumental in building a better future for the world. And that’s what we’re looking for this year in the India Ideas Summit”, she added.

Nisha Desai Biswal
Nisha Desai Biswal

The virtual summit will start on July 21, with inaugural keynote conversation on “Global Supply Chains & Combating COVID-19” between Indian-American Congressman Dr. Ami Bera and Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Railways.

Union Finance Minister Sitharaman will join the USIBC members to share her vision for India’s economic recovery and the path to future economic growth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her remarks would be followed by conversation on India’s Economic Recovery by Tarun Bajaj, Secretary of Economic Affairs.

On July 22, after a welcome address by Thomas J Donohue, CEO, US Chamber of Commerce, the External Affairs Minister Jaishankar along with Senator Mark Warner would participate in a discussion on “How the US and India Can Lead the Global Response Post-Pandemic” in a session moderated by former NSA Stephen Headley.

Thomas J
Thomas J. Donohue

Soon thereafter Pompeo would deliver a keynote address, followed by a panel discussion on “The Future of US-India Relations in a Post-Pandemic World” between US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and his Indian counterpart Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Pompeo has already lashed out at China and said that Indians have done their best to respond to Beijing’s aggressive actions. The top American diplomat said last Wednesday that China has a pattern of instigating territorial disputes and the world shouldn’t allow this bullying to take place in the region.

The Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh since May 5. The tension escalated manifold after a violent clash in the Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed last month. Currently, both sides are engaged in talks to de-escalate the situation.

The prestigious annual USIBC Global Leadership Awards would be presented to Jim Taiclet, CEO, Lockheed Martin & Co-Chair of the US-India CEO Forum and Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Tata Group chief.

“I think that the US-India partnership can become the engine for rebirth of a global economy post (coronavirus) pandemic,” he said. Noting the US and India already have a very deep collaboration in terms of the services trade, Biswal, who was earlier the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said it is well known that a large cross-section of the American economy has some operations in India.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed India’s strength and resilience in the service economy, and despite a national lockdown the US companies were able to maintain business continuity across the board on the vast majority of these services, whether it’s hospital administration, financial sector, or processing of insurance claims. Across the board, the service economy in India has been able to operate, she said.