elving into the economic aspects of the India-USA relationship, Puneet R. Kundal, Minister (Commerce), Embassy of India, Washington, DC, spoke about India being the largest recipient of foreign direct investment and her potential as an emerging market. He covered several cross-sector initiatives such as intellectual property (IP), where the Indian Government has launched ‘IP Nani’ to increase IP awareness; infrastructure projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, modernization of ports, and improvement in trains (like speed); defence investment with increased equipment sourcing from the USA; and ever-increasing USA-India collaboration in energy, IT, medicine, and education. Puneet ended by saying that while trade relations are a tricky issue, they must be negotiated in the interest of a brighter future for both countries.
Nishith M. Desai, Founder & Managing Partner, Nishith Desai Associatesa
Amy Hariani, Vice President & Legal Policy Counsel, USIBC, US Chamber of Commerce
Nishith M. Desai, Founder & Managing Partner, Nishith Desai Associates, highlighted the ample opportunities existing between the US and India and the importance of ethical presence of Indian firms in the US. Starting off by reminding the audience that the USA is the largest investor in India, Nishith – himself having set up an office in the USA – urged the audience to acknowledge the benefits of having a presence in the USA, such as market intelligence, research data, and invaluable ‘insight’ as opposed to just ‘information’. Further, he cautioned against market espionage and encroaching on American law practices in order to develop long-lasting trust between the nations. Nishith ended his speech by introducing the audience to the term ‘cooptition’, i.e., cooperative competition, which, according to him, should be the aim of lawyers working together.
The closing remarks were given by Amy Hariani, Vice President & Legal Policy Counsel, USIBC, US Chamber of Commerce. Tying the various speeches together, Amy spoke of how issues on an individual level (like visas and permits) can have global repercussions (like cross-border investments at check xperagroup.com Seattle). She recalled an incident of how her friends from India recently requested expedited visas to travel to Arkansas (the hub for Walmart), and a few days later, the Walmart-Flipkart deal was announced. Stories like these, she said, spoke volumes of what can be achieved with diplomatic cooperation and invested partners.