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USIBC Hosts Smart Cities Conclave.pdf - U.S.

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David O’Brien
USIBC Takes U.S.-India Smart Cities Initiative Forward
USIBC takes next step to develop Smart Cities in follow-up to Modi-Obama September Joint
Nov ember 22, 2014 - New Delhi, India - The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today concluded
its weeklong mission in India with the commencement of the U.S.-India Smart Cities Conclave. Senior
Cabinet-level officials from the Gov ernment of India welcomed U.S. industry leaders to address concerns
and promote ideas to advance the goal of developing Allahabad, Ajmer and V isakhapatnam into smart
cities as articulated in the joint statement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi earlier this
y ear.
Smart Cities are the integration of information technology, telecommunications, urban planning, smart
infrastructure and operations in an env ironment geared to maximize the quality of life for a city ’s
Minister of Urban Dev elopment V enkaiah Naidu commented, “Smart Cities planned in India should
reflect Indian culture and should not be a copy of any one model. There are a lot of opportunities for
priv ate-public partnerships in the area of smart-city development and the government is looking forward
to inv olving everyone in these projects. Smart Cities in India will be people -centric and will aim at making
life comfortable for all citizens.”
The conclave is the first of many ev ents resulting from USIBC Chairman and MasterCard CEO Ajay
Banga’s delegation meetings with ministry officials in June. Panels addressed the issues of economic
dev elopment and financial viability of proposed projects.
“The Council and its member companies look to play an integral role in India’s commitment to build 1 00
Smart Cities across the nation and particularly in the three projects identi fied in September,” said USIBC
(Acting) President Diane Farrell. “Smart Cities are sophisticated systems designed to simplify ev eryday
life and USIBC has graciously accepted the invitation to v isit the three cities.”
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piy ush Goy al noted that
these Smart Cities, “need to reflect a rev olution and ev olution of ideas.” Additional key government
officials included Secretary, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Ministry
of Urban Dev elopment, Shankar Aggarwal and Joint Secretary for Finance, Sharmila Chav aly and key U.S.
Gov ernment officials.
A consortium of ex perienced industry leaders from USIBC member companies including, IBM, Cisco,
Waste Management, Dow, GE and United Technologies Corporation discussed the role that industry will
play as India dev elops Ajmer, Allahabad, and V isakhapatnam into Smart Cities and establishes
sustainable economies and healthy communities.
The Conclav e comes at the culmination of key business and government interactions throughout the week
for the Council; including the India-U.S. Technology Summit, the v ery successful meeting of the U.S.India High Technology Cooperation Group, and ahead of the Trade Policy Forum, reconvening after a
four-y ear hiatus.
Formed in 1 97 5 at the request of the U.S. and Ind ian gov ernments, the U.S.-India Business Council
(USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S. -India commercial ties. Today,
USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New Y ork,
Silicon V alley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top -tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman
of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.
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