India, US launch Small and Medium Enterprise forum to create jobs

Washington, Sep 22 (Calcutta Tube) Ahead of US President Bartack Obama’s November visit to India, the two countries have launched a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Forum to help generate new jobs and investments and spur economic growth.

The inaugural meeting focused on ‘Integrating SMEs into the US-India Value Chain’ was hosted here Tuesday by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

‘The launch of the SME Forum represents a fresh outlook on how the US and India can help generate new jobs, new investments and spur economic growth long after the president’s visit in November,’ said USIBC that represents top 300 US firms doing business in India.

An Indian CEO delegation led by Hari Bhartia, CII President and Managing Director of Jubilant Organosys attended the inaugural meeting.

Representatives on both sides spoke to the vast potential for SMEs to enter and reshape the global value chain, creating mutually beneficial opportunities for both countries.

As India’s population and economy continue to grow, SMEs are more important than ever, USIBC said. 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 percent 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 US-India commercial link, already surpassing $40 billion in two-way trade,’ he said

‘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,’ Somers said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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