The U.S.-India Relationship and the Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit
By: Alice G. Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is an annual entrepreneurship gathering that brings together emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem supporters from across the globe. I find it particularly fitting that the United States is co-hosting GES with India this year. In 2017, we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of India’s independence, as well as 70 years of bilateral relations between the United States and India. Since India’s independence in 1947, Americans and Indians have built upon our shared commitment to democracy and universal values to create powerful bonds between our two peoples.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is an opportunity to highlight that thriving relationship. As we launch the “Road to GES: U.S. Series” in communities across the country, we aim to share first-hand the best practices of the U.S. start-up ecosystem, as well as the innovation and new perspectives of Indian entrepreneurs that can generate new approaches to 21st century problem sets and contribute to job growth and prosperity in both our countries and around the world. The theme of this year’s GES — Women First, Prosperity for All — is recognition of the importance of women entrepreneurs and the role they play in making their communities more prosperous and more secure.
The city of Hyderabad, this year’s summit host, is the capital city of the Indian state of Telangana. It’s no coincidence that Telangana was tied for first among Indian states in the most recent World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” report. It’s also home to many major American and international companies as well as T-Hub, India’s largest start-up incubator. As always, the sharing of best practices is a two-way street. GES will also help participating U.S. companies better understand and play a role in India’s new business start-up culture.
Like all our bilateral cooperation, working with India in hosting the GES will reflect our shared values and commitment to creating jobs and rising living standards through innovation as well as open and transparent economic systems. Entrepreneurship also offers solutions to pressing global challenges. When you hear the word “entrepreneur” your mind likely will turn to Silicon Valley and the social media and tech legends like Facebook and Google. But today’s entrepreneurs are also solving pressing problems like access to energy and health care, and bringing the power of the digital revolution to farmers in developing countries. And it’s not just the focus of entrepreneurs that is changing — it’s the entrepreneurs themselves. Solving our most pressing problems, whether local, national or global, is going to take every good idea that we can generate, and that’s why we need to ensure that every budding entrepreneur is nurtured and encouraged to put their energy and vision to work in the marketplace.
The summit will be a wonderful opportunity to discuss our shared challenges, to find ways to overcome them, and help build that foundation of respect and trust from which our economic relationship can grow.
Editor’s note: This entry originally appeared in DipNote, the U.S. Department of State’s Official Blog.