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Commerce and Industry Minister Mr.Kamal Nath inaugurates the India Business Forum and addresses the Indian American Council

New York
June 23, 2006 

Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry Mr. Kamal Nath formally launched the India Business Forum on June 23, 2006, structured at the initiative of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), in a function hosted by the Consulate General of India. About fifty one organizations and corporations, who participated in the event, constitute the India Business Forum.

2. In her opening remarks Consul General Ms. Neelam Deo welcomed the creation of the Forum and said that such an initiative would add to the momentum of economic reform process ongoing in India. Mr. Tarun Das, Chief Mentor CII expressed hope for further expansion of the Forum. Ambassador of India to USA Shri Ronen Sen, who was also present on the occasion, recalled a number of initiatives in the area of trade and commerce in his previous assignments which had boosted bilateral relations. He commended the initiative and urged regular frequent meetings of the Forum. David Good, the American Chair of the India Business Form and Chief Representative- North America, Tata Group highlighted the collective contributions of various Indian companies to the American economy, including job creation. 

3. Addressing the Forum Hon’ble Minister Kamal Nath lauded the efforts of CII to organize the event comprising “Companies of Indian Origin operating globally” to generate and facilitate dialogue within the business community and create channels for communications with the Central government and Agencies. Minister added that the Indian companies were generating jobs in countries such as US and UK, making industry more competitive thereby sharing their success with the communities worldwide. The Minister emphasized the need to plan future meetings and open discussions on challenges faced by Indian companies. Commending the role played by the Indian Missions in trade promotion, Minister spoke of the need for establishment of a Trade Promotion Council in USA.

4. Corporate participants of the forum informed about the profile of their companies and shared their concerns and thoughts on how government and industry can work together to address business challenges. 

5. Minister Kamal Nath suggested about a facilitation cell in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to coordinate events that strengthen dialogue between the Indian government and Indian firms abroad. He described the role of Government of India as facilitator and enabler.

6. Ambassador Ronen Sen announced that the next meeting of the forum would be held in July 2006.

7. In a reception hosted by the Indian American Council in the evening of June 23, 2006, the Chair, Indian American Council and Chair, Knowledge Commission, Mr. Sam Pitroda outlined the objectives of the Council for its work in bringing the business communities and the people together. 

8. In his address Hon’ble Minister Kamal Nath expressed the Government of India’s commitment to promote entrepreneurial growth. Referring to the dramatic changes in India the Minister emphasized the role of persons of Indian origin and said that the all inclusive growth was India’s biggest challenge and the government’s objective. He added that the institutional mechanism such as IAC impart a strategic dimension to the process of engagement between the Government of India and PIOs. Minister described the ongoing reforms process in India as India specific and expressed confidence that reforms will continue to add momentum to economic growth.