The US-India relationship does not have just a geopolitical aspect but an incredibly important geo-economics dimension in which the private sector can play a key role, Nisha Desai Biswal has said ahead of her visit to India this week as the president of a top business advocacy group. The former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Biswal this month joined the US India Business Council (USIBC) as its president. USIBC is a part of the powerful US Chambers of Commerce. In her previous capacity in the government, Gujarat-born Biswal said she realised the incredibly important role of the private sector. She said joining the USIBC and the US Chamber of Commerce, is “an opportunity…to bring the knowledge and understanding and insight that I had from government and bring that into private sector in terms of how can we better leverage the US and Indian private sectors to create the kind of economic partnership that not only creates opportunity in both countries, but also the ability for our two economies to partner in looking at the region and the global opportunity,” Biswal told PTI.
Referring to the major India policy speech by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington D C before his India visit this month, Biswal said this reflected the very profound vision of what is at stake for a US-India partnership across the Pacific, not just for the next four years but for the next century. “And that is not just a geopolitical, geo strategic dimension but an incredibly important geo-economics dimension,” she said. Headed to India this week on her first visit as the USIBC president, Biswal said it is a profoundly important time in bilateral ties and the economic partnership is pivotal. Noting that there already is a lot of inherent and organic growth in two-way trade and investment, Biswal said but there can be a far more strategic leveraging of that. Responding to a question on the three years of the Modi government, Biswal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi made some significant economic reforms that have been well received by both his domestic industry as well as by American businesses that are looking to invest in and grow and grow their investments in India.
“Clearly there is so much more that can and needs to be done,” she noted. There was a recent study that talked about 90 per cent of the infrastructure of India of 2030 is yet to be built, she said. “And that’s going to take an enormous surge of investment to be able to stand up that infrastructure. Investment domestically as well as foreign investment. So what are the things that can really clear the pathways of that investment,” Desai said, noting that there are a number of things that one can look at bringing in more investment. Biswal said in her capacity as the USIBC president, she looks forward to continuing to play the role that she has always played to “bring our two countries, our two economies, our two peoples into much closer and closer collaboration” and to be able to engage with the governments and be able to engage with the businesses in service of that.
“Bigger ideas is to me, not just a job but a passion and a vocation, it’s a mission that I deeply and passionately believe in and I see this platform as being absolutely the most critical platform from which I can do this,” Biswal said. The US-India Business Council is a premier business advocacy organisation dedicated to strengthening the economic and commercial relationship between the United States and India. The council’s primary mission is to serve as the direct link between business and government leaders.