President Obama’s visit to India was watched closely by the industry stakeholders and politicians alike. Outsourcing – the political issue that affects the industry was expected to be a talking point along with Pakistan and terrorism. President Obama’s speeches are said to have hit the right notes. President Obama was accompanied by some industry heavy weights who met their Indian counterparts at the backdrop of the India – US CEO summit to discuss trade ties. Among those who met were, Vikram Pandit (Citigroup CEO ), Indra Nooyi (Pepsico CEO), Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata.
At the Business Summit, President Obama made every attempt to address the situation of jobs and India’s role in generating more opportunities. Some of the important statements from the President:
- Indians have helped build America and Americans have helped build India.
- India the fastest growing economy, the pace of growth has been stunning.
- India is a nation of rapid growth, rising incomes with investment in infrastructure and education.
- India and US to engage in competition for jobs and markets which offers the prospect of expansion in commercial ties.
- The US ardently supports India’s rise and wants to invest in it.
- Exports to India more than other countries and these support jobs across the United States.
President Obama also pointed out the perceptions India and US have of each other and efforts should be made to change these. From Harley Davidsons to commercial aircrafts and jet engines, President Obama emphasized the various areas where US enterprises have stake in exporting goods to India which in return mean jobs in the US. According to President Obama, during his visit, 20 deals worth $10 Billion were signed between the US and India resulting in more than 50,000 jobs in the US.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a joint press statement was categorical and said, "India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the U.S.... outsourcing (work to India) has helped improve the productive capacity and productivity of America."
This trip had two purposes:
- address the terrorism issue.
- address job concerns in the US and comfort Indians about the outsourcing rhetoric back in the US.