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India: Powering Asia’s Ascent - New Delhi, India

India: Powering Asia’s Ascent
Date/Time: Mar 18, 2010 / 9.00am-7.00pm
Venue: New Delhi, India

Asia Society's 20th Asian Corporate Conference - India and many of its Asian neighbors are experiencing an economic resurgence in the face of global downturn. How should India confront the domestic and global challenges that are testing the resilience of its economy? What investments in infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, and education should be made to ensure India's long-term, inclusive growth? How will these investments benefit both India's domestic market as well the economies of its regional counterparts? Will India assume a leadership role in multilateral institutions and play a decisive role in facilitating global trade negotiations?

As Asia continues to drive the momentum of the global economic recovery, how will stakeholders maximize opportunities and address potential challenges, and what lies ahead for India’s prospects as a truly global leader? Join government leaders, key decision-makers and industry experts from the international business community to discuss these important issues.

Programme Schedule: 

Day One: March 18, 2010

9:00am Delegate Registration at the Taj Palace Hotel

6:00pm Opening Reception at the Taj Palace Hotel

7:00pm Opening Night Dinner at the Taj Palace Hotel

Invited Opening Keynote: Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, India

* * *

Day Two: March 19, 2010 – Taj Palace Hotel

9:00am Welcoming Remarks: Vishakha N. Desai, President, Asia Society*

Keynote Address: Robert D. Hormats, Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, U.S.A.

Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance, India

9:45am Session I – Taking Stock: India’s Place in the Post-Crisis Economic Outlook

Asia is rebounding rapidly from the global crisis and growth forecasts for the region have been comparatively favorable. With India’s economy expected to grow by 7.5 percent this year, how can the government unwind its stimulus program responsibly without derailing its economic progress? In what ways could India enter into business partnerships with neighboring countries to help further stabilize the overall Asian economy? As India seeks a greater role in competing at a global level and enhancing its market access, will there be a push to remove obstacles regarding tariffs and renewed efforts to conclude Doha negotiations?

John Bussey, Washington Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)*

Brooks Entwistle, Managing Director and CEO, Goldman Sachs (India)*

Fang Xinghai, Director General, Shanghai Metropolitan Government Financial Services Office

Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings Plc.

James D. Wolfensohn, Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn & Company

* * *

11:00am Coffee/Networking Break

* * *

11:30am Keynote to Panel: Koji Omi, Former Minister of Finance, Japan*

11:50am Session II – India’s “Smart Power”: Driving Growth through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

India’s entrepreneurial innovation will be critical for its future long-term economic growth and has already transformed the lives of millions across the country. How have these entrepreneurs used their ingenuity to address vital concerns such as the scarcity of energy resources and lack of access to healthcare? What cross-border innovations could be forged to bolster social innovation across Asia? How are Asian corporations and foreign firms innovating in India, and how can MNCs leverage India’s innovations to transform their organizational strategies?

Keynote Conversation:

Paul Beckett, South Asia Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal Asia (moderator)*

Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Knowledge Commission

Timothy J. Roemer, US Ambassador to India*

Plenary Discussion

Robin Chan, CEO, XPD Information Technology Co. Ltd.*

Tejpreet Chopra, CEO, General Electric, India

Henry B. Nguyen, Managing General Partner, IDG Ventures Vietnam

Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDIA)

H. Harish Hande, CEO, SELCO-India

Navi Radjou, Executive Director, Centre for India & Global Business, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge*

Raju Vegesna, CEO, Sify Ltd.*

* * *

1:30pm All Delegate Luncheon

* * *

2:00pm Keynote Address: Kamal Nath, Minister for Surface Transport and Highways, India*

2:30pm Session III – Urbanizing India: Strategies for Managing New Cities

Upgrading infrastructure will be an important evolutionary step in India’s economic development. The country’s explosive growth and rapid urbanization has created critical capacity challenges for infrastructure development, electricity, roads, and water. How is the government aligning cost, efficiency, productivity, and risks to overcome the infrastructure gap? What are the viable investment opportunities in India’s infrastructure projects? Are there regulatory roadblocks that could be removed in order to boost development in this sector? What steps are being taken to facilitate public and private partnerships models (PPPs), which could remedy India’s roads, ports, water, and power insufficiencies?

Mark Chandler, Director, Office of the Mayor, International Trade & Commerce, City of San Francisco*

Minaakshi S. Dass, Chairperson, Pearey Lal & Sons (E.P) Limited

Rajiv Lall, Managing Director and CEO, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC)

Deepak Parekh, Founder and Chairman, HDFC*

Ren Xuefeng, Vice Mayor, Tianjin People’s Municipal Government

Zhao Gang Cheng, Professor, Institute of International

* * *

4:00pm Coffee/Networking Break

* * *

4:30pm Keynote Address: Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development, India

5:00pm Session IV – India’s Next Generation: Educating the Future Workforce

In today’s global knowledge economy, education plays a vital role in determining economic growth. India needs to capitalize on its demographic advantage and improve the access, enrollment, and quality in secondary education. What steps are being taken to enhance the country’s workforce? Are information and communications technologies being utilized to their maximum potential? Are knowledge creation and talent management being effectively linked with business outcomes and growth? Looking ahead, which sectors will boast the greatest employment prospects in India and is the next generation being prepared to seize these opportunities?

Geeta Anand, The Wall Street Journal Asia (moderator) *

Pramod Bhasin, President and CEO, Genpact*

Shaheen Mistri, CEO, Teach for India; Founder, Akanksha Foundation

Sid Myer, Chief Executive Officer, Yulgilbar Group of Companies

Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President, Founding Committee, Tri Viet Centre; Former Vice Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly

Manish Sabharwal, CEO, Teamlease Employment Service

Xiao Gen, Director and Professor, Tsinghua Institute/Brookings institute Beijing

* * *

6:30pm Sessions conclude

* * *

Day Three: March 20, 2010 – Taj Palace Hotel

9:00am Keynote Address:

Vice-Minister of Commerce, P. R. China

Mari Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State, Commerce and Industry, India

* * *

10:00am Keynote to Panel:

Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State*

Yoshiro Mori, Former Prime Minister, Japan*

10:30am Session V – Bridging Trade Boundaries: Strengthening Strategic Alliances

Emerging Asian economies have become vital components of the global market, accounting for more than a third of world trade. Along with China, India is one of the region’s growth engines and has the potential to transform the shape of the world economy. As an important player in global commerce, how can India promote prosperity throughout the region and strengthen its position in the multilateral trading system? What are the challenges that may be hampering regional trade activities? Does India’s recent FTA with South Korea suggest its preference for bilateral over multilateral trade agreements? Since trade and climate policies have become increasingly entwined, how can India work with other nations— both regionally and globally—to reconcile differences and contribute towards building sustainable economies?

Myron Brilliant, Vice President – International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore*

Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies*

C. Raja Mohan, Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress

Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General, ASEAN

Richard Woolcott, Founding Director, Asia Society Australasia Center*

* * *

11:45am Coffee/Networking Break

* * *

12:15pm Keynote Conversation – India in a Political World

Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, USA

* * *

1:00pm All Delegate Luncheon

* * *

2:00pm Keynote Address:

Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State, Environment and Forest, India

Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, Australia

2:45pm Session VI – Climate Change: Responding to Resource Scarcity

Finding sustainable solutions for effective climate governance is a pressing global concern. What innovative technologies are being explored in order to address these challenges, particularly to promote energy-efficient practices and to address issues such as water scarcity in the Asian subcontinent? How can India capture its technological expertise to solve climate problems and how will business be sustained in a climate-constrained world?

Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, New Delhi, India*

John Negroponte, Vice Chairman, McLarty Associates*

Shyam Saran, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister, India*

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society (moderator)*

Ron Sommers, President, USIBC

Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs *

Wu Jianmin, Member, Foreign Policy Advisory Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, P. R. China

* * *

4:15pm Keynote Address:

Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister, Singapore*

4:45pm New Directions: Leadership in an Era of Change

Is India poised to make the 21st Century an Indian Century? Looking ahead, what will India’s role be in key global issues such as international trade, renewable energy, climate change, disease control, terrorism, and nuclear non-proliferation? As the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning youth population, is the Indian leadership implementing the right policies in the fields of education, regulation, innovation, infrastructure, and finance, so that it can capitalize on the robust potential of India’s future generations?

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Senior Editor, Hindustan Times*

Tarun Das, Former Chief Mentor, CII; Lifetime Trustee, Aspen Institute India*

Sachin Pilot, Minister of State, Communications and IT, India*

Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard

* * *

6:00pm Sessions conclude


* = Confirmed Speakers


Dialogues organised by SIIA:

1. Amit Baruah, Editor of Hindi Service, BBC World Service

2. Rajiv Lall, Managing Director and CEO, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC)

3. Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and Technology, India

4. S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore and Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

5. Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation

6. Jamie Metzl, Executive Vice President, Asia Society

Event Report: 

1. Montek Singh Ahluwalia Delivers ACC Keynote
The Asia Society’s 20th Corporate Conference began with a speech from Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission. Dr. Ahluwalia is tasked with presiding over India’s economic transformation as it adapts to the “new normal” in the post-crisis world. The country withstood the global crisis and grew 7% in 2009, and has officially announced a goal of 9% growth in 2010.

2. Taking Stock: India’s Place in the Post-Crisis Economic Outlook
Panelists discussed India’s role in the region, trends in regional integration, and opportunities and challenges for Asian companies investing in India and vice versa.

3. Asia’s “Smart Power”: Driving Growth Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The second panel discussion of the Asia Society’s 20th Corporate Conference focused on driving economic growth in India through innovation and entrepreneurship.

4. The Infrastructure Gap: Keynote Address by Kamal Nath
One of the greatest challenges India faces is closing its infrastructure gap. Mr. Kamal Nath, India’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways, outlined India’s plans for overcoming this challenge. India has set an ambitious short term goal: to construct 20 kilometers of road per day for the next 3 years. That will work out to approximately 20,000 kilometers, at an estimated cost of US$50bn.

5. Strategies for Managing New Cities: Urbanizing India
A panel on the urbanization of India took the stage at the ACC to discuss the challenges, issues, and opportunities associated with India’s rapid urbanization. The number of cities with populations of over 1 million in India has increased 50% in the last two decades to 41, and migration from rural to urban areas is expected to accelerate.

6. Educating the Future Workforce: Asia’s Next Generation
Nearly two-thirds of India’s population is under the age of 35, constituting the world’s largest pool of young people. However, only 11% of those aged 17-23 receive higher education. The last session of the first day of the Asia Society’s 20th Corporate Conference focused on education.

7. Trade and the US-India Relationship – Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake
Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asian Affairs of the US State Department, opened the session on trade on the second day at the Asia Society’s Asian Corporate Conference in New Delhi with a keynote address on the strength and importance of the US-India relationship and the significance of India’s economic opening and role in the new world order.

8. Goh Chok Tong Delivers Day Two Keynote
Day two of the Asia Society’s 20th Corporate Conference began with a keynote address from Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister of Singapore and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank. SM Goh was prime minister of Singapore from 1990 to 2004. He spoke on Asia’s place in the emerging world order, trends emerging in the wake of the global crisis, and the potential for India to shape the contours of a new global architecture.

9. Bridging Trade Boundaries: Strengthening Strategic Alliances
The first panel session of ACC Day 2 focused on trade, regional architecture, and strengthening linkages.

10. Jairam Ramesh, “Economic Growth has to be Predicated on Ecological Sustainability”
The afternoon session on Day 2 of the Asia Society’s ACC began with a keynote address from Jairam Ramesh, India’s Minister of State, Environment and Forests. India faces environmental issues on two conceptual levels: issues which must be resolved in the international arena, such as climate change, and more traditional environmental issues that must be addressed locally, such as air pollution, water pollution, land degradation and others. Mr. Ramesh discussed some of India’s strategies for tackling these challenges.

11. Climate Change: Responding to Resource Scarcity
India and other Asian countries are at relatively greater risk of being affected by the negative effects of climate change; one study estimates that 1.2 billion Asians could be affected. To discuss how best to tackle the issue of climate change, the ACC convened a panel discussion of five expert speakers.

12. Final Keynote Given by Chief Minister
Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of New Delhi, gave the final keynote address of the Asia Society’s Asian Corporate Conference. She discussed challenges and opportunities that New Delhi faces, her strategies for addressing them, and how these strategies apply to a rapidly urbanizing India.

13. New Directions: Leadership in an Era of Change
The final panel of the ACC brought together experts in information technology, business, and academia to discuss the concept of leadership in India. Leadership is evolving on two levels in India: internally, as Indians find solutions to local issues, and externally, as India’s rising economic power translates to a need for more responsibility in the international community.

Event Photographs: 
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Photographs and images used are obtained from publicly-accessible resources. No copyright infringement is intended.

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