World Bank chief, USIBC delegation head to Uttar Pradesh

CM Akhilesh Yadav pulls off a coup of sorts.

By American Bazaar Staff

NEW DELHI: The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, has pulled off a mini coup of sorts, as he is set to host a high-powered US delegation of business leaders on March 13, a day after World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim comes calling on him.

The annual visit of the US India Business Council board of directors, led by USIBC’s chairman Ajay Banga, assumes special significance this year because this is the first time the high-powered delegation of American business leaders will venture beyond the traditional stops of New Delhi and Mumbai, reported The Times of India.

Traditionally aimed at accelerating and advancing the pro-growth agenda that has taken US-India bilateral trade beyond the $100 billion mark, the delegation would meet government and leaders of the Indian industry. For the first time, however, the USIBC chairman’s executive mission will visit Lucknow at the invitation of Yadav, following an invitation sent out by him nearly a year ago, seeking US investment in the state. Following the invite, preparatory meetings were held between Yadav, USIBC president Ron Somers and Banga in October.

The USIBC chairman’s executive mission will also be different this year for two reasons; one, the blue-chip delegation comprises an array of some of top US companies, and arrives on the heels of India’s 2013-2014 Budget, which for the first-time articulates the imperative of foreign direct investment as necessary to spur India’s growth, said the report.

Following post-Budget analysis with accounting powerhouses E&Y and KPMG in Washington, New York, and Silicon Valley, supported by the Indian Embassy, the investor response have been overwhelmingly positive and have generated interest in India as an attractive investment destination, said the Times.

In a statement today, Banga, the President and CEO of Mastercard said: “The synergies between the United States and India are well-known: Our common inclination towards free-market economic principles and our shared entrepreneurial DNA make for a potent combination, one that can generate opportunity and growth, a “win-win” for our companies and our countries.”

Following their meeting with government officials in New Delhi, the US delegation will then head to UP on Wednesday, leading a 35-member blue-chip US industry delegation, where USIBC will co-host with CII on March 13 the first-ever US-India Business Summit in the Uttar Pradesh capital, entitled, “Destination Uttar Pradesh: Investing in the Future.”

The US-India Business Summit will be inaugurated by Yadav. The USIBC delegation will discuss the findings of the day-long program and present an agenda for progress to him at the close of the day, setting benchmarks and laying out a road map to facilitate US investment in Uttar Pradesh.

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