Job Creation Headlines Inaugural “U.S.-India SME Forum”

USIBC and CII Shift Attention to Small/Medium Enterprises in Advance of President Obama’s Visit to India

September 21, 2010 – Washington, DC – In anticipation of President Obama’s historic visit to India, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) proudly hosted the inaugural meeting of the interactive Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Forum, “Integrating SMEs into the U.S.-India Value Chain”. The event was done in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), who organized a distinguished CEO delegation led by Mr. Hari Bhartia, CII President and Managing Director of Jubilant Organosys. The program concluded with remarks by United States Under Secretary of Commerce, Francisco Sanchez.

The launch of the SME Forum represents a fresh outlook on how the U.S. and India can help generate new jobs, new investments, and spur economic growth long after the President’s visit in November. Representatives on both sides repeatedly spoke to the vast potential for SMEs to enter and reshape the global value chain, creating mutually beneficial opportunities for both countries. Bringing together mid-size companies from the U.S. and India to underscore the conditions necessary for continued growth is an important focus of USIBC and involved companies. As India’s population and economy continue to grow, SMEs are more important than ever, a fact underscored by Under Secretary Sanchez’s Growth in Emerging Metropolitan Sectors (GEMS) initiative, announced earlier this year. The SME Forum continues the trend of linking the commercial services of the United States and India’s emerging regions.

“It is critical that small and medium-sized enterprises are able to participate in the extraordinary growth story unfolding in India,” noted USIBC President Ron Somers. “By accessing new and exciting markets, these companies will help drive growth, innovation and job creation here in the United States. USIBC and CII will help these companies in finding new opportunities in India’s fast-growing Tier II and Tier III cities. We will also work to encourage Indian SME investment here in the United States. This SME Initiative presents a “win-win” opportunity for both sides, and enriches the global value chain to mutual advantage,” Somers said.

The result will be inclusive growth – for both nations. There are 3.7 million manufacturers operating in the United States today. So far, only 27% of these manufacturers benefit from exports. The goal is to integrate more of these types of American companies into India’s global value chain, and vice versa, leveraging the U.S.-India commercial link – already surpassing $40 billion in two-way trade.

“USIBC stands ready to support President Obama’s upcoming visit to India by creating new opportunities for American and Indian companies and strengthening bilateral trade and investment. This is the time when the governments and private sectors of both countries must focus on growth and job creation,” USIBC President Ron Somers said.

The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the Government of India and the U.S. Government to advance commercial ties between the world’s two largest free-market democracies, is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. For more information please visit www.usibc.com.