New Delhi, India – Late last week, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, in partnership with the Government of India, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, U.S.-India Business Council, Confederation of Indian Industries and the U.S. Department of Commerce, completed the successful U.S.-India Smart Cities Technical Workshop, fulfilling a commitment made during the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in August.
“Support for India’s smart cities is a key focus for USTDA, and we are proud of our investments in the critical front-end planning of a smart city’s development in several Indian states,” said USTDA Regional Director Henry Steingass during the inaugural of the Workshop. “This planning is designed to help our Indian partners attract and stimulate the smartest, most cost-efficient investments in infrastructure and services to help achieve their cities’ growth visions.”
The first of its kind for the Agency, the interactive workshop brought together over 150 U.S. and Indian business executives, Indian officials from federal, state and municipal levels and officials from the U.S. Government and the Government of the District of Columbia. Participants identified best practices for financing smart cities, along with integrated transportation, energy and communications solutions to smart urban planning.
Since signing three memoranda of understanding in 2015 with the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, USTDA has worked to connect U.S. industry with India’s efforts to mobilize smart city development in Ajmer, Visakhapatnam and Allahabad, respectively. In 2016, the Agency partnered with a team of U.S. companies – led by AECOM and including KPMG and IBM – to sponsor smart city master planning for the City of Vishakhapatnam after successfully hosting a delegation of Andhra Pradesh and central government officials to the United States.
The Agency also provided technical support to Ajmer’s successful selection in India’s Smart Cities Challenge in September 2016 and is currently planning a series of reverse trade missions to the United States for leaders of India’s smart cities efforts in 2017. These events will introduce delegates from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to U.S. technology, manufacturing and services that can support the development of safe and efficient urban infrastructure.