Mumbai, India – This week, Thomas R. Hardy, Director of Congressional and Public Affairs, wrapped up a week-long visit to India where he met with high-level public and private sector decision-makers to discuss ongoing projects and future collaboration.
Core to the visit was co-hosting the U.S.-India Aviation Summit with Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of State Jayant Sinha and Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation and the U.S. Ambassador to India, Ken Juster. The Summit provided an opportunity for U.S. industry to conclude more than $300 million in new commercial contracts that will strengthen the safety and security of the Indian aviation market (see fact sheet). The contracts will introduce innovative U.S. technology solutions to meet the increasing demands on India’s expanding aviation ecosystem. Additionally, the Summit provided a forum for high-level government and industry leaders from both countries to engage in discussions to lay out a roadmap for future cooperation. At the opening of the Summit, USTDA announced that it will host a series of visits to the United States for public and private sector decision-makers from India’s civil aviation sector. The visits will connect delegates with leading U.S. technologies and solutions that can support India’s aviation infrastructure development goals.
In addition to participating in the Summit, Mr. Hardy met with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis to discuss a recently signed MOU to cooperate under the Agency’s Global Procurement Initiative that promotes value-based procurement. In support of the State of Maharashtra’s progressive approach to economic development, the GPI program will conduct a series of trainings and workshops designed to introduce transparent, globally recognized approaches to procurement that will enable the State to obtain quality infrastructure based on value and not simply the lowest cost.
The visit also provided an opportunity for USTDA to review and evaluate the impact of its support for smart city development through its Smart Solutions for Smart Cities initiative. During Mr. Hardy’s meeting with Minister of State of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, USTDA received an update on its ongoing smart city investments and heard about investments in smart cities taking place across the country. The Agency’s work is supporting India’s efforts to invest in technologies and solutions to better connect city services ultimately enabling cities to be more responsive to their citizens, an area where U.S. companies have unique solutions that can help India achieve its smart cities goals.
In a meeting with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Hardy discussed USTDA’s Cleaner Coal Initiative and Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative as well as ongoing projects with the Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. The conversation addressed two reverse trade missions USTDA hosted for representatives of the Ministry and state-owned refineries – visits that ultimately led to follow-on projects for U.S. companies as well as a Memorandum of Understanding between the Centre for High Technology, within the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the American Chamber of Commerce in India, which Mr. Hardy witnessed during his visit to New Delhi.
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with so many of USTDA’s partners in India,” said Mr. Hardy. “At the Summit, we made tremendous progress in charting a path forward on shared priorities in the aviation sector. I also witnessed first-hand the impact of USTDA’s program and how it is helping to introduce innovative U.S.-manufactured goods, services and technologies that will strengthen the safety and security of India’s aviation ecosystem. I look forward to seeing the future results of the connections made this week.”
While congratulating the participants at the conclusion of the Summit, Minister Suresh Prabhu said, “This set-up of two very powerful institutions of U.S. and India’s civil aviation leaders who will lay the foundation for an even more active partnership and help increase the trade between two countries. I encourage the industry to utilise these institutions of strategic importance to expand their footprint and presence in India.”
Minister Jayant Sinha in his remarks talked about the billion flights and how U.S. industry should seek more partnerships with India to help India achieve this ambitious goal. He laid stress on manufacturing of civil aviation components and drones in India.
 Performing the delegable functions and duties of the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.