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Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee to leave on 20th June for Washington

New Delhi
June 18, 2010

Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will be leaving for Washington on the midnight of 20th June, 2010 to attend India-US CEOs Business Meeting. The meeting will be held on 22nd June, 2010 in Washington. During his stay the Finance Minister will also have bilateral meeting with his US counterpart.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia will also participate in India-US Business CEOs Forum meeting. A twelve member business CEOs forum from India includes Shri Ratan Tata, Co-Chair, CEO Forum, Shri Mukesh, D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited, Shri S. Gopalakrishnan, CEO & MD, Infosys Technologies, Shri Sunil Bharati Mittal, Chairman & Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank Limited and Shri Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC among others.

From US Business Forum side Mr. David M. Cote from Honeywell who is also co-chair CEO forum will attend alongwith Mr. Louis Chenevert, United Technologies Corporation, Mr. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Mr. Terry McGraw from the McGraw Hill Companies, Ms. Indra Nooyi, Pepsi Co. and Mr. Vikram Pandit from Citigroup among others.

The US-India CEO Forum was first constituted by Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh and US President Mr. George Bush in July, 2005 at Washington. It was one of the initiatives for enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. Comprising initially 10 CEOs each from both countries, the CEO Forum was given a mandate to develop a road map for increased partnership and cooperation between the two countries at the business level.

The CEO Forum met again and presented their report and recommendations for enhancing trade and investment entitled “US-India Strategic Economic Partnership” in March, 2006 in New Delhi during the visit of US President George Bush. The forum has defined six priority initiatives which are promotion of trade and industry, creation of an infrastructure development fund, promote technology exchange in Agriculture, Bio-technology and Nano Technology, partner in skills development, set up an Indo-US Centre for Industrial R&D and establish a dispute resolution mechanism.

The third meeting of CEOs Forum was held in October 24, 2006 at New York and the recommendations of CEO Forum were submitted to the Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission and it was forwarded to the concerned Ministries/Departments for necessary action on issues concerning them. The progress/status on each issue was followed up by Ministry of Finance.

The fourth meeting of the CEOs Forum was held on September 2007, in New York in the presence of then Indian Commerce & Industry Minister and US Secretary, Commerce. Based on the deliberations during the Forum meeting, a report entitled “Recommended Next Steps” was submitted in April, 2008. This report identified keys issues for implementation. The issues included Education and development of Skills, Funding of Growth, Research for Alternative Energy, Visas, Civil Aviation and Air Traffic Control, Electricity, BIT/BIPA & Legacy Issues among others.

Thereafter, the India-US Business CEOs Forum was reconstituted during the last visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Washington in November, 2009 and its first meeting was also held at that time. This will be the second meeting of the reconstituted India-US Business CEOs Forum.