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June 23, 2009: Ambassador Meera Shankar, Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, and Dr. Amit Mitra

(Click to enlarge) From left to right: Dr. Satu Limaye, Ambassador Meera Shankar, Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, and Dr. Amit Mitra discuss U.S.-India relations.

U.S.-India Relations: The Road Ahead

(Washington D.C.) June 23– Ties between India and the United States have burgeoned in the past decade. The two countries now interact through increased trade and investment activities and engage in more active discussions on regional and international security strategies. What challenges and opportunities will India and the United States face in the future? In an East-West Center in Washington and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Asia Pacific Political Economy Seminar, The Honorable Meera Shankar, Indian Ambassador to the United States, discussed common diplomatic and security issues as well as the challenges that lie ahead for bilateral and regional relations. Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, President, and Dr. Amit Mitra, Secretary General, of FICCI detailed the developing economic ties between India and the United States and the opportunities for further cooperation.

The Honorable Meera Shankar has been the Indian Ambassador to the United States since April 26, 2009. Previously, she served as director in the Prime Minister’s Office (1985-1991), and was posted to Washington DC as minister (commerce) (1991-1995). Thereafter, she headed the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi, overseeing India's cultural diplomacy. Subsequently, in the Ministry of External Affairs, she headed two important divisions dealing with the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and relations with Nepal and Bhutan. After promotion to the rank of Additional Secretary in 2002, she held the responsibility for the United Nations and International Security. Her last assignment was as Ambassador of India to Germany from December 1, 2005 to April 6, 2009.

Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania is currently the president of FICCI. He belongs to a large industrial group called JK Organisation. Mr. Singhania oversees the group's Pulp & Paper and Milk Products businesses, as well as other corporate activities. He was the vice president of PHDCCI and served as chairman of various committees in FICCI and PHDCCI. Presently, he is member on the Board of Indo-British Partnership and executive committees of FICCI, PHDCCI, ICC (India), and the Council for National Culture Fund, and also serves on the board of governors of International Management Institute and Organising Committee for Commonwealth Games, 2010.

Dr. Amit Mitra is the secretary general of FICCI. Previously, Dr. Mitra taught in major universities in the United States and received the prestigious Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1990. He is on the Advisory Committee to the Union Commerce Minister of India on WTO. Additionally, he serves on the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and on the Planning Commission's Expert Group on Equitable Development. He has been a member of the India-China Eminent Persons Group, Indo-EU Round Table, and Study Groups with China, Japan, Israel, Korea and Russia. He is also a Member of the `Eminent Persons Group' established by the UNCTAD Secretary General on Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).

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