Ahmedabad – The United States of America, a partner country at Vibrant Gujarat 2017, sent the largest non-Indian delegation to this year’s event, comprised of government officials and executives representing over 100 U.S. companies. The official U.S. government delegation to Vibrant Gujarat was led by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal and U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma. The U.S. business delegation was led by John Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco Systems and Chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council, and included a number of other American CEOs who travelled from the United States.
This is the second time that the United States has served as a Partner Country for Vibrant Gujarat, a level of participation that underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to engage through such events with the government, business community, and people of Gujarat and of India as a whole.
While in Gujarat, Assistant Secretary Biswal, Ambassador Verma, and their delegation highlighted the expanding commercial relationship and deep people-to-people ties between the United States and India. Highlights of the visit included:
- Ambassador Verma’s remarks at a reception hosted by the U.S.-India Business Council, stressing the increasing convergence of interests between United States and India on economic, defense, global, and regional issues, all of which have led to the dawn of a new era in U.S.-Indian bilateral ties.
- The U.S. Country Seminar featuring Consul General Vajda and other speakers from the U.S. government and private sector, which included a memorandum of understanding signed between Amazon India and the Government of Gujarat under which will educate, train and enable tribal entrepreneurs to directly sell their products to Amazon customers in India and across the globe.
- Consul General Tom Vajda and the entire U.S. business delegation meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment ties between the United States and Gujarat.
- Ambassador Verma’s series of meetings with Indian business and industry leaders on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
- The U.S. Pavilion, highlighting trade, travel, and study opportunities and attracting thousands of visitors, including Prime Minister Modi, who stopped to take pictures at the selfie station.
During his two-day visit to the region, Ambassador Verma also visited the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Ahmedabad to learn how SEWA secures livelihoods for rural women in India, Afghanistan, and other countries. Ambassador Verma expressed appreciation for SEWA’s partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development that takes up the challenge of empowering more than 1,000 war-affected and impoverished widows of Afghanistan by providing them with vocational training for job security. Committed to inclusive growth and women’s rights, SEWA is India’s largest community-based microenterprise organization with more than 2 million microenterprise members spread across 14 Indian states.