URGENT: US, India CEOs seek joint system for implementing advice

Washington, Sep 21 (IANS) Indian and American CEOs would recommend the two governments set up a “joint management operating system” to ensure implementation of the recommendations of their CEO Forum.

This emerged from a discussion here Monday as part of the US-India CEO forum kicking off the crucial Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the two countries ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third summit with President Barack Obama next week.

Participating in the discussion, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon, said: “Enabling private sector R&D leadership is a big focus of the Modi government.”

“Moving in the right direction is one thing, but we want to see important reforms sooner than later,” she said in the discussion on “Deepening Bilateral Economic Engagement”.

“We can only take millions of people out of poverty if we have vibrant economic growth,” said Sunil Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises.

“We’re on the cusp of something that could make India a really productive economy,” said David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and US co-chair of the forum.

Chip Kaye, co-CEO of Warburg Pincus, said he was not sure there was another country in the world with the economic potential of India.

“Problem is translation of potential into reality,” he added.

W. James McNerney, Jr., chairman of the board of The Boeing Company, who moderated the discussion, said he had seen lot of fast track initiatives in India, but eventually the bureaucracy gets even with politician.

“What will happen this time?” he wondered.

Seeking speeding up of arbitration in India, McNerney said: “Better to have bad news in 6 months than good news in 5 years.”

Participating in a another panel discussion, Fred Bergsten, senior fellow and the director emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said: “India could be the next economic miracle ‘IF’ they undertake bold reforms”

“Without ‘competitive liberalization’, India can not sustain 8 percent growth,” he said in the discussion on “the Economic and Strategic Imperatives of Enhanced Bilateral Trade”.

“Major impediments to India’s economic growth are now primarily domestic,” said Pravin Krishna, professor of international economics and business at Johns Hopkins University.

Ashley J. Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, said “the US has made a major bet on India, out of American self interest”.

US and India both stand to gain from deeper economic integration, he said, noting pessimism on economy comes from corrosive domestic politics, and opposition for its own sake.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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