About the Author: Ryan M. Miller serves on the India Desk in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), an advocacy group comprised of India's and America's top companies, held its annual Summit, on the sidelines of this week's U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. With a focus on education, the Summit featured a formidable array of business, education, and governmental leaders -- each with a unique viewpoint to share about the future of cooperation between the United States and India. The diverse mix of panelists and speakers featured at the Summit were overwhelmingly optimistic in their predictions about what the U.S.-India relationship will look like in five, ten, or even twenty years.
In July 2009, when Secretary Clinton and External Affairs Minister Krishna committed to building a robust U.S.-India strategic partnership, they acknowledged the importance of the "social linkages between our respective people, private sectors, and institutions." The Department of State continues to recognize the vital role of the private sector in promoting greater understanding between our two countries by identifying areas of common interest and accelerating the people-to-people exchanges that are central to a healthy diplomatic relationship. The U.S.-India Business Council -- who celebrates its 35th anniversary this week -- is one such organization that has successfully encapsulated these vital social and business linkages.
This event marked a perfect opportunity to find out how the commitment at the government-to-government level is translating in the business sector and in U.S.-India people-to-people partnerships. In hopes of chronicling their own predictions about what business sectors, innovation trends, and aspects of our bilateral cooperation will be most crucial in the years ahead I decided to take this extraordinary opportunity to engage with these diverse representatives -- from both the private and public sphere. Using a video recorder, I was able to capture the perspectives of several USIBC Summit participants. Despite hailing from sectors as distinctive as civil engineering and education, they all emphasized a common refrain: the future of U.S.-India cooperation holds limitless potential. You may watch what the participants had to say here on YouTube. I came away from the event struck with the importance of the people-to-people relationship and impressed with the emphasis on past progress and the commitment to future innovation.