Even as rising COVID-19 numbers add fuel to anxiety, the indefatigable human spirit is looking for ways to move on to the LWC (Living with Covid) phase of world history. A high-level digital conclave comprising of some of the keenest minds deliberated on the opportunity for Indo-US Trade Cooperation post-COVID19.
Organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce along with Forbes India, the panel comprised of Suresh Prabhu, former Commerce, Industry and Civil aviation minister, Lt General (Retd.) Syed Ata Hasnain, India’s Sherpa to G20 and the Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir, Dr Ajit Ranade, President and Chief Economist of the Aditya Birla Group and Naushad Panjwani, Regional President, IACC West India Council. Brian Carvalho, Editor, Forbes magazine, moderated the discussion.
The panelists discussed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Indian and global economy, impending sectoral changes, Indo-US trade ties and the way forward. They deliberated on the various options and routes by which India and the US could come out of the current recessionary strains on the economy and forge new paths going forward.
Appreciating the alacrity with which India responded to the Covid-19 crisis, Lt General (Retd) Ata Hasnain said, “India has handled the Covid-19 pandemic with an appreciable balance between public health, economic and social harmony. In the international strategic domain, the post-pandemic factors which would dictate global recovery will be medical research cooperation, economic stabilization and the overcoming of international trust deficit.”
Pointing the way forward for India as it battles and recuperates from the crisis, Dr Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist of the Aditya Birla Group said “Sectors like healthcare and pharma will become more prominent. In India, public health spending will go up considerably and many new ways of conducting business will come up.”
The group foresaw opportunities for a new realm of Indo-US trade and economic collaborations. “The methods of wealth creation for a nation have evolved from conquering to colonization to cartels to the competition. The way forward now is collaboration. Here, India and USA are perfect partners”, said Naushad Panjwani, Regional President, IACC West India Council.
Former Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said, “Now, India and USA need to not only continue investing in each other’s countries but also invest and operate projects in other countries jointly.”
Dr Ranade joined in and added that he saw scope for greater collaboration between Indian and American companies in vaccines and medical research.
The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), established in 1968, an apex bilateral Chamber was founded by the then US Ambassador, Chester Bowles and other industry leaders. The Chamber is dedicated to promote the bilateral economic and trade cooperation between India and US. A not for profit, non-government body, IACC is industry led and managed promoting Indo- American business and economic relations, bilateral trade, investments and technology transfers and facilitating business collaborations, joint ventures, marketing tie-ups and strategic alliances through a set of proactive business oriented initiatives.
The Chamber has over 2300 members from all over the country in diverse sectors. IACC has the privilege of working closely with the US embassy and the Indian government providing feedback and recommendations on various issues and also giving an opportunity to its members to interact with senior officials from both the governments regularly.