Resurgence and Renewal: How the U.S.-India Relations Are Thriving Through COVID-19

The U.S.-India partnership has remained strong through COVID-19, and these countries continue to work together to reach governmental and societal goals.

Air Date: October 7, 2021

Featured Guests: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister, Ministry of Education, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, India, Renu Khator, Chancellor, University of Houston System, Vijay Advani, Amy Regan Morehouse, Senior Vice President, Trailhead GTM, Salesforce, Shiv Nadar, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, HCL Technologies, Mallika Srinivasan, Chair and Managing Director, Tractors & Farm Equipment Limited, Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Arun M. Kumar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG India, Rajesh Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, TransUnion CIBIL

Formed in 1975 to enlighten and encourage the private sectors of both India and the United States to boost investment, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) recently held its 2021 India Ideas Summit and 46th Annual Meeting. The goal of both the summit and the meeting remained hyper-focused on global economic recovery, healthcare innovation, and governments' collaboration through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Summit invited government officials and business leaders from both countries to share their thoughts and discuss ideas to further the U.S.-India partnership. On Day Two of the event, guests and panelists discussed how the United States and India can work together to achieve goals in climate change, higher education, medicine, diversity, finances and the global supply chain.

The U.S.-India Partnership Will Bolster Climate Action Over the Next Decade

In April 2021, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi affirmed that the United States and India would collaborate on a 2030 agenda for clean technologies and climate action with a program entitled the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership.

“Our partnership underscores our joint commitment to taking decisive climate action in this critical decade, 2020 to 2030,“ stated Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “It also shows us how cooperation on climate and clean energy is a central pillar of the U.S.-India relationship.”

For years, India has been a critical partner in the efforts for climate and clean energy and recently made a bold statement by setting a goal of 450 gigawatts of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Countries Must Come Together Amid COVID-19 to Shore Up Global Supply Chains

Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles for India, explained that India wants to focus on areas where it has a competitive advantage to become a bigger stakeholder in global value chains with the U.S.’s help. Goyal asserted that India has seen a growing trust deficit amongst some geographies in the COVID-19 era.

“This close partnership between the U.S. and India is central to a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that supply chains should not be based only on cost, but rely heavily on all trust.”

Fintech Innovation Will Be a Driver for Financial Inclusion and Access to Credit

India now stands on the brink of a financial revolution with ever-growing financial technology (Fintech) adoption by consumers across its geography. With progressive regulatory policies and support by the Indian government, India’s Fintech players are now being fortified to scale innovation and cater to the financial requirements of its people.

Rajesh Kumar, the managing director and CEO of TransUnion CIBIL, affirmed not only India’s growing adoption of Fintech but illustrated how the impact of technology on financial inclusion through credit growth can actually be evidenced.

“Consumer credit space is on a phenomenal growth trajectory with various banking and non-banking units,” Kumar said. “No wonder that India's retail credit industry has grown by a phenomenal 10x in the last decade. Active credit penetration has improved from three to almost 18 to 20%. Technology has helped foster trust in India's lending ecosystem, which has triggered credit opportunities for deserving consumers and driven sustainable financial inclusion.”

The United States and India Are Partners in Prosperity

Suzanne Clark, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, closed the second day of the summit with energizing words that reinforced U.S. and India’s partnership.

“This is what allies do,” she said, referencing the immediate mobilization of resources to each other when COVID-19 hit. “Not just because our economic destinies are linked, not just because we share a bond as the world's largest democracies, but because our partnership has led to genuine care, respect, and affection between the people of our nations. It is on that foundation that we look ahead to recovering, rebuilding, and renewing our shared strength.”



Nisha Biswal,

Senior Vice President, International Strategy and Global Initiatives and South Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Suzanne P. Clark,

President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Ryan Miller,

Vice President, South Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce