Conference Highlights Growth and Investment in India

HOUSTON, March 29, 2017 – On March 24, Asia Society Texas Center hosted the inaugural Houston India Conference, which convened constituencies interested in doing business in the world’s second most populous country. The conference was a partnership between the Consulate General of India in Houston, India House Houston, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, Asia Society Texas Center, Greater Houston Partnership, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, U.S. India Skills and Education Council, and the University of Houston.

The theme for 2017 was “Make In India – The Inside Story,” referring to a major Indian government initiative designed to encourage investment, enhance production, facilitate collaboration, and foster innovation. The man who first envisioned the conference was Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston, and he was intent on having the program take place in the Lone Star State. “Texas has a vibrant Indian-American population that has contributed immensely to the understanding between our two countries across business, academia, (and) the sciences. We would like to take Texas can-do spirit back home,” said Consul General Ray.

Speakers included Nisha Biswal, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs; The Honorable Kalikesh Singh Deo, Member of Indian Parliament of Lok Sabha; Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute; Subhash Chandra Garg, World Bank South Asia Executive Director; Dhruva Jaishankar, Foreign Policy Fellow at the Brookings Institution India Center (New Delhi); Ashok Malik, Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation; Manjari Chatterjee Miller, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University; and Ambassador K. Nagaraj Naidu, Joint Secretary, Economic Diplomacy at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Panel sessions ranged from political developments and to the current investment climate, and from India’s soft power to recent India-U.S. relations and what to expect in 2017. On the topic of attracting foreign capital, Garg and Naidu drew attention to the Indian government’s priority in “creating conducive conditions” for business and replacing archaic laws with “pragmatic and practical reforms.” Biswal shared her experience from representing U.S. interests in South Asia during the Obama administration. She sees the India-U.S. alliance as the defining partnership of the 21st century, pointing to shared democratic values, strategic alignment and security cooperation, and India’s status as a rising economic power.

For more programs on business in India, please join Asia Society on April 12 for India’s Economic Ascent and Opportunities for Investment with Anu Magavkar from the McKinsey Global Institute.

Related News

Groups hope to boost Houston business ties with India. Houston Chronicle. March 24, 2017.

Inaugural Houston India Conference Focuses on ‘Make in India’ Inside Story. Indo American News. March 31, 2017.

Conference discussing ‘Make in India’ held in Houston. Hindustan Times. March 25, 2017.

Conference on 'Make in India' held in Houston. Business Broadcast News, Zee News, Outlook India, The Economic Times.

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