Deliberating at the CSIS Innovation Forum United States Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma said this forum can serve as a platform for American and Indian entrepreneurs to exchange best practices and to highlight the leading role of innovation partnerships in the U.S.-India economic relationship.
Verma said that innovation and entrepreneurship are key focus areas under the U.S.-India Strategic & Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), which begins in Delhi tomorrow adding that the S&CD is the signature, annual forum for policy discussions between the two governments.
“It was established in 2009 by then Secretary of State Clinton and a commercial track was added last year. The United States leads few such comprehensive dialogues like this and Secretaries Kerry and Pritzker are pleased to be here in Delhi for the latest iteration.
The work of the Innovation Forum will be reflected in the S&CD proceedings and I’m confident this will help both governments promote policies conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said. Verma said that in the U.S.-India relationship, economic ties are the real engine of this dynamic partnership and the number speak for themselves.
“Two-way trade reached a record USD 107 billion in 2015 – five times what it was a decade ago. Investment by American companies in India and Indian corporations in the United States now stands at around USD 40 billion. Defense trade has reached nearly USD 15 billion. And more than 500 American companies are currently operating in India, supporting millions of local livelihoods,” he said.
He added that the two countries still have tremendous potential to grow, especially in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship saying “ the innovative spirit of the Indian people is renowned around the world, a fact exemplified not only by the large number of successful entrepreneurs here in India, but by the number of Indians and Indian Americans at the cutting edge of innovation in the U.S.”
He noted that India is now the world’s fastest-growing major economy and in order for this tremendous growth to be sustainable, it will require careful investments in urban planning, modern infrastructure, and clean energy.
Verma said it is incumbent upon all governments to create policies and a regulatory environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, but governments cannot do this in a vacuum. Industry’s voice is indispensable in serving as a guide on this journey.
He mentioned that a major initiative that brings together government and private sector leaders is the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and that the US is very pleased that India has agreed to host the next GES in 2017. “GES2017 will provide a platform to highlight the ways in which our governments are fostering an environment for innovative business development in both the U.S. and India. It will also provide an ideal forum in which India can showcase its entrepreneurs and attract leading international investors and venture capitalists,” he said.