India-US CEO’s forum to discuss smart cities


The India-United States CEO’s Forum set up by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi will be discussing how smart cities can be developed in India as part of a wide ranging agenda, according to Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Telecom.

Speaking with on the sidelines of the India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue of which the CEO’s forum is a central part, Mr. Sunil Mittal said the Indian side will seek American participation in the development of the smart cities concept along with digital infrastructure.

Mr. Mittal added that several American companies had expressed interest in investing in India in the digital and smart cities concept.

The primary objective of the CEO’s forum is to encourage two-way bilateral trade and investments. The CEOs iron out issues and bottlenecks and then present them to their respective governments for policy action.

Mr. Mittal explained that on the Indian side, Prime Minister Modi and his government have agreed to work on all issues which would enhance corporate investments in India. The Prime Minister’s key economic initiatives aimed at changing the Indian economic narrative will be the focus of the CEO’s forum with key schemes like Digital India, Make in India and Smart Cities, and so forth, being at the centre of discussions.

Talking about the reform agenda Mr. Mittal said the overwhelming impression among the CEO’s is that “the reform agenda is on track “. A handful of issues may be there but they are being worked on.

Mr. Mittal revealed that there was a lot of excitement on the American side also, with some of the top American corporates like Apple, IBM, Boeing and others lining up to do business in India. All major American corporate heads are slated to meet with Prime Minister Modi later in the week.

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