The best conference panels, like the best blog posts, are the ones which change your mind. And while I haven’t done a U-turn on anything, after yesterday’s panel on smart cars I’m now thinking very differently about the relative merits of various ways of improving how we move around where we live and travel.
The Indian economy is coming back. After several years of disappointing performance, the authorities are shifting to policies aimed at boosting the annual growth rate closer to the roughly 9% level that India achieved from 2004 to 2008. That won’t be easy. India has many handicaps and lacks many of the things that are needed to sustain rapid growth.
Today marked the official start of Secretary Bryson's five-day trade mission to India. In the morning he met with Deputy Chairman of the Planning
Commission Montek Aluwalia to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-India
commercial relationship. He also spoke at an infrastructure roundtable
discussion sponsored by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
India is planning to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure development
over the next five years, and U.S. companies are in a unique position to
offer their skills and expertise in partnership with Indian firms. Secretary Bryson also witnessed the signing of two U.S. Trade and Development Agency grants
supporting U.S. business investments in India’s energy infrastructure
development. The first grant will support a feasibility study for Azure
Power, a private sector solar power developer based in India. The second
grant will finance a feasibility study for CESC Limited for the
implementation of smart grid technologies across their electricity
distribution networks in Kolkata, India.During his address at a luncheon
hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI),
Secretary Bryson announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce and
India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry have taken steps to renew the
U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue for an additional two-year term, until
March 2014. The Commercial Dialogue is a key component of the bilateral
commercial relationship and provides a forum for both the U.S. and
Indian governments and private sectors to collaborate on issues of
mutual interest, ensuring that the trade relationship is “win-win” for
both countries. The agenda has been expanded to cover new areas of
engagement on topics such as standards–including smart grids,
intelligent transportation systems–and sustainable manufacturing.
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today announced the 16 companies that will join him on a business development mission to India, his first as Commerce Secretary. During the mission, Secretary Bryson will meet with senior-level Indian government officials to advocate for U.S. export opportunities in India’s rapidly expanding infrastructure sector, and promote investment opportunities in America – both key priorities of the Obama Administration. The mission will take place March 25-30 with stops in New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai.