U.S. India Business Council U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Many of us are adapting to a new and emerging reality as we work to maintain productivity while addressing the health and safety needs of communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. USIBC will continue to provide the information, analysis, advocacy and engagement opportunities that strengthen connectivity in the U.S.-India corridor. We welcome your ideas and suggestions on what would be helpful as we all navigate a fast-changing environment. 
Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new platform designed to provide resources and guidelines for business to monitor the situation and prepare; economic analysis on the impact of the virus in the U.S. and around the globe; and information on how business is stepping up to combat the spread of the virus. In close collaboration with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials, the Chamber is collecting information and facilitating information sharing around supply chain and travel challenges. The Chamber has also created four new task forces dedicated to helping businesses and their employees deal with unexpected strains due to the coronavirus. The task forces held initial calls this week and expect to make recommendations as early as next week.
  • U.S. Chamber Combating the Coronavirus platform. (WEB)
  • U.S. Chamber Coronavirus Response Toolkit (WEB)
  • U.S. Chamber advocates for coronavirus relief legislation (The Hill, March 12)
  • U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue on Federal Reserve Coronavirus Actions (Press Release)
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley: "The impact of the coronavirus on the job market" (Newstar/Tribute Broadcasting, March 9)  
The Government of India has issued new travel restrictions for all foreign nationals, which come come into effect beginning 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure:
  • All existing visas (excepting diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment and project visas) are suspended until April 15, 2020. Visa-free travel for OCI holders is also suspended.
  • Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
  • Read the full release from the Press Information Bureau >>
Read the full release from the Press Information Bureau >>
  • All USIBC events scheduled for the week of March 16 are postponed. We are exploring options for teleconference and webcast-based events and meetings, and will provide updates to members as events are rescheduled.
  • The G7 Ministerial on March 24-25 will now take place virtually, rather than the scheduled in-person meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • The World Trade Organization has suspended all meetings through March 20.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank 2020 Spring Meetings have been moved to a virtual-only format.
International Women's Day

International Women's Day is an important moment to recognize the women leaders in business and government who play a critical role in advancing the U.S.-India partnership. USIBC benefits significantly from the leadership of women serving on our Board of Directors and India Advisory Council: Former Ambassador of India to the United States Nirupama Rao, Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, TAFE Chairman Mallika Srinivasan, Walmart CEO Judith McKenna, Accenture India Chair & Senior MD Rekha Menon, Advent Private Equity India Advisory Board Chair Naina Lal Kidwai and Intel India Country Head Nivruti Rai.
To celebrate International Women's Day, USIBC announced our plans to partner with WE Hub on our 3rd annual startup pitch competition - focused on women entrepreneurs in India. The pitch competition will take place as part of USIBC's flagship India Ideas Summit, slated for New Delhi in September 2020. Stay tuned for more updates!  
Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted its 10th annual International Women’s Day Forum in New York City, bringing together over 250 business leaders, entrepreneurs and cross-sector partners for forward-looking conversations on how to continue the momentum on gender equality. In partnership with the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, the Foundation also recently released A Path to Empowerment: The Role of Corporations in Supporting Women's Economic Progress.
For more information, please contact Carolyn Posner or Priyanka Sethi.
February 28 Roundtable with Ambassador Kenneth Juster
USIBC hosted a small roundtable discussion with U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster.  Ambassador Juster briefed members on the recent trip by the President of the United States to India and noted that the visit was well received by the President and played an important role in strengthening strategic ties between the United States and India. While the two countries did not conclude a trade package, Ambassor Juster highlighted an agreement between the leaders to renew negotiations and work towards a trade package in the coming months.   
For more information on the event, please contact Amy Hariani
March 3-5  3rd Annual International Privacy Forum
USIBC held its third International Privacy Forum (IPF) in New Delhi, hosting a series of roundtables and individual meetings that included technical discussions with high-level Indian government officials. These included Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MetiY) Additional Secretary Gopalakrishnan S., Standing Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) Chairman Shashi Tharoor and BJP National Vice President and Spokesperson Jay Panda. The USIBC delegation included experts from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Digital Services Industries (ODSI), as well as participation by diplomats and industry from the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe. The delegation also met with officials from several embassies and Indian civil society groups. 
In a series of frank discussions, the IPF raised the importance of privacy regulation, international data flows, and the need for G2G cooperation, regulatory coordination, and interoperability with the emerging Indian privacy regime. The delegation underscored building trust, minimizing consumer harm, and the need to improve ease-of-doing business for small, medium, and entrepreneurial businesses. Indian decision-makers were receptive to these core messages and agreed on the need to continue engagement with industry to produce a Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) that promotes privacy for India citizens while balancing business compliance costs, innovation and access to data by law enforcement. 
For more information, please contact Jay Gullish and Abhishek Kishore.
March 5-6  USIBC Delegation to India Pharma 2020
USIBC served as a strategic partner for India Pharma and India Medical Device 2020, organized by India's Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Featuring remarks by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizer Sadananda Gowda and Minister of State for Shipping & Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, the event focused on quality healthcare, affordable access, and support for innovation -- all areas of longtime USIBC advocacy. U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) Senior Vice President Patrick Kilbride also spoke at the event, joining a conversation on the ecosystem for research & development, innovation startups and presenting GIPC's 2020 International IP Index.
The 20-member USIBC delegation included representation from nearly all of the Council's life sciences members, including several CEOs from Indian and multinational pharmaceutical companies. In addition to participating in the broader event, the delegation hosted a roundtable discussion with Department of Pharma Secretary and Joint Drug Controller Eswara Reddy. During the session, members raised issues around ease of doing business, public procurement, the recently introduced healthcare cess, and counterfeit imports. The Secretary suggested regular interactions with industry and invited USIBC to play a greater role at the next India Pharma event, as well as encouraging members to write to him directly on any issues.
Read the India Pharma 2020 knowledge paperFor more information, please contact Sandeep Maini and Mayank Rohatgi.
March 11  Roundtable with AUSTR Chris Wilson
USIBC hosted a roundtable in Washington, DC with Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South and Central Asia Chris Wilson. The session included a readout of President Trump's visit to India and the state of play in U.S.-India trade negotiations. AUSTR Wilson emphasized that the U.S. and India remain focused on closing a limited agreement, and noted that there are a suite of issues where the two sides have come to a concensus. He also provided updates from the 5th U.S.-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) talks held in Dhaka last week.
For more information, please contact Amy Hariani.
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