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U.S.-India SME Summit

Wednesday 27 February, 2008

I attended the U.S.-India SME Summit on 20 Feb. @ the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Ave. in Chicago.  It was sponsored by the US-India Business Council, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, National Assn. of Manufacturers, U.S. Commercial Service of U.S. Dept of Commerce, Small Business Exporters Assn., Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Navistar, Wal-Mart, Boeing, Caterpillar, Baker & McKenzie, FedEx.   US Trade Representative & Ambassador Susan Schwab spoke.  Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry in India had to cancel & was replaced by his undersecretary. 1 of Chicago’s most prominent Indians, Dr. Dipak Jain, Dean of Kellogg School of Management @ Northwestern University, moderated the panel on SME partnerships.

Michael Moskau informed us Illinois exports $614M to India, 50 IL companies have operations in India, 15 Indian companies are located in Illinois & 150,000 Indians reside in Illinois.

Susan Schwab let us know, this conference is not in Delhi or D.C., it’s in Chicago because it’s home to so many SME’s.

Undersecretary Pilay brought us up to date, in that 2 years ago, the U.S. sent 200 SME’s to India.  This is the reciprocal trip.

The room was filled with about 160 people in the morning, but only about 40 remained @ the end of the day.  There seemed to be some concern about the interest of American SME’s in meeting their Indian counterparts.  1 Indian delegate even posed the question to a panel “Where are the American SME’s?”

The Indian SME’s seeking partners here in the U.S. can be found here.  I requested copies of the powerpoint presentations given from the organizers to post here, but haven’t heard back from them.  There’s no way I can cover this day-long event in 1 blog entry, so if you’d like more info, just let me know.

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