By Aiyushman Dutta
NEW DELHI/ GUWAHATI, July 31:The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the growing partnership between the U.S. Government and U.S. private sector to address India’s development needs, a press communiqué stated.
The announcement comes the same day as the launch of the high-level Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Washington, D.C. which will bring together key U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and senior leaders from government and business to discuss how government tools and policies can facilitate private sector partnerships to unleash the full potential of the Indo-Pacific region, including supporting India’s rise as an important power in a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Both USAID and AMCHAM India said they will collaborate to combine U.S. Government and American private sector resources to address India’s development challenges in the following sectors: maternal and child health; tuberculosis; HIV/AIDS; energy/environment and forestry; water and sanitation; gender and women’s empowerment; and issues concerning youth.
Highlighting the need for this partnership, Mark Anthony White, USAID Mission Director to India, said, “The signing of this MOU not only demonstrates our common desire to address India’s development issues, but also our willingness to collaborate in areas of common interest. Our relationship with AMCHAM has been nurtured in numerous ongoing projects between USAID’s implementing partners and U.S. companies. This MOU is a natural progression of our relationship and will undoubtedly ensure the continuation of our work in achieving the Government of India’s and USAID’s development objectives. Including enterprise-based development to our portfolio not only ensures board participation but also bodes well for sustainable impacts.”
As agreed under the partnership, USAID will identify and share innovations that benefit the base of India’s population pyramid, while AMCHAM India will explore integrating its member companies’ corporate social responsibility funding with USAID/India’s programs. A total of 312 U.S. companies are members of AMCHAM India.
Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM India, added, “U.S. companies are among the largest contributors to corporate social responsibility efforts in India. They share best business practices, the latest technologies and innovative concepts that have made significant and positive impacts in rural and urban communities in India. By establishing effective relationships such as with USAID, we hope to establish a new phase of public-private partnerships that better enable our member companies to promote sustainable development.”