October 4, 2022
Gautam Adani Award: Gautam Adani honored with USIBC Global Leadership Award

Gautam Adani Award: Adani Group Founder and Chairman Gautam Adani was today honored with the USIBC 2022 Global Leadership Award. The award was given by the US India Business Council (USIBC) of the US Chamber of Commerce for the visionary leadership of Gautam Adani.

Vice Chairman Nasdaq, Ed Knight Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs of the US Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant, President of the US India Business Council, Ambassador Atul Keshap and distinguished guests.

Speaking on the special occasion, Gautam Adani said that it is an honor to receive the USIBC Global Leadership Award. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to speak in the presence of so many industry leaders and senior government officials. On an individual level, the award comes on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, which makes it even more significant and memorable.

The theme of the summit- ‘Maximizing the Next 75 Years of US-India Prosperity- Timing Perfectly’. There can be no disagreement that the success of the fast-growing and newly emerging global mobility-sharing partnership between India and the United States, the two largest global democracies, will be one of the most defining relationships of this century. However, the strategic

I am sure we will all agree that more needs to be done in terms of grassroots work.

A central element of this relationship will be the need for mutual acceptance, which will include free trade, openness, and integration into each other’s economies, necessary to establish the foundation for the range of possibilities that remain untapped. Common ground on geopolitical concerns is necessary, but it will mean little unless they are built on a foundation of business relationships. Without clear business objectives, global cooperation will remain largely crippled. In this context, the role of the USIBC will be critical in linking the voice of industry to government policies. Given the current world order, the need is enormous, and the stacks are massive.

Let’s look at some macro numbers

If we fast forward to 2050, the combined value of US and Indian GDP is expected to be $70 trillion. It will make up 35-40% of the global economy. By 2050, the combined population of the two countries will exceed 2 billion and account for about 20% of the global population. More importantly, the combined median age of our two countries will be less than 40 years in 2050 as they are now. Compare this with Europe and China, the average age in Europe is already 44, and in China it is 40 years.

When viewed through these lenses of economics and the raw power of consumption, it is clear that the current $150 billion bilateral trade between the US and India is no more than a particle in the ocean. Much more still needs to be done.

So, in these circumstances, what are the options before us and what role should the USIBC play?

To begin with, as negotiators from both countries have struggled to reach an agreement on a trade package and tariffs, I believe we are closer than ever to addressing open matters. I am sure we will sort it out and will mutually accept some agreements. What we cannot tolerate is being trapped in the belief that all aspects of trade and relations are being disrupted as a result of tariffs.

some strategic areas where joint progress has to be shown

It is no surprise that, first and foremost, is climate change. There has been a lot of talk about developed nations supporting developing countries, but much more needs to be done in terms of immediate participation in this area. Cooling our planet is equally essential and could be one of the most profitable businesses to do in the next several decades. With the US Climate Bill signed into law, both of our countries will have to find a mechanism to benefit from this massive stimulus. Governments have done their part, now the job of businesses is to find a way to cooperate.

The Adani Group has already committed $70 billion for this effort. This will help us build three giga factories in India, one of the most integrated green-energy value chains in the world. This will span from polysilicon to solar modules, to full-fledged manufacturing of wind turbines and to the manufacture of hydrogen electrolysers. As a result, we will generate an additional 45 GW of renewable energy to add 3 million tonnes of hydrogen to our existing 20 GW capacity, all of which will be completed before 2030. This value chain will be completely indigenous and aligned with the geopolitical needs of our country. However, I believe we can further accelerate our goals in the US with the support of companies that are willing to work with us. We both stand to benefit!

Next is in the field of semiconductors. We live in a world where semiconductors are essential to almost all sectors of the economy. It is the ongoing war that has given impetus to this belief. The paradox of capitalism is that India remains the best global pool for millions of engineers, especially for US companies, but the primary value addition for businesses, occurs outside India. The semiconductor industry is a classic example with more engineers in India than anywhere else in the world, but despite this, there is no semiconductor plant in India. India cannot depend on global supply chains which are based on semiconductor nationalism and will need US support along with technology transfer.

Another Sector Healthcare

We saw the way national priorities took their place during the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of vaccines became a game of votes and capitalism. The term deglobalization has gained prominence due to the divisions resulting from the pandemic. Given that it breeds mistrust, we never have to let it happen again. Vaccine cooperation between our countries should be high on our priority list and it needs to be formalized in a mutually beneficial manner.

Similarly, defense and cyber are two important areas that the US and India should work on. Cooperation in these areas comes from trust. India needs support in both these areas and at this point of time, we are only touching the surface. These are two essential areas where our partnership should extend to technology transfer to be able to build mutual trust.

I therefore urge USIBC to facilitate a comprehensive forum that regularly brings together executives from similar industries on both sides. As we approach 2050, with the size of the two economies, there will be a lot of benefits involved to be split.

These forums will have many results. It will lay the foundation for a comprehensive business development platform, continually highlighting policy challenges that need to be addressed, as well as bringing businesses and policy makers on a common platform. There should be a clear set of objectives to which we are committed. Which seems to be missing somewhere today.

I can personally vouch that we are here to support you, to do your part, and to work with any of you, to advance this initiative.

I would also like to add here that the work being done by former USIBC President Nisha Biswal and now the current President Atul Keshap is nothing short of extraordinary. They have made USIBC relevant and taken it to the level where it is now positioned to be one of the most important platforms for accelerating trade relations between our countries. We should all be grateful for the initiatives he has driven and will continue to do so to help bring our nations closer together.

In conclusion, I would like to say that while I have highlighted a number of matters that would require our attention,

– I have never been more hopeful that our two nations will find a solution

– Our combined ability to influence the world has never been greater

– The need has never been greater.

US India Business Council announcement

Earlier the US India Business Council of the US Chamber of Commerce announced that it is conferring the USIBC 2022 Global Leadership Award to Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman of the Adani Group, in recognition of his visionary leadership. Adani will be presented the Global Leadership Award at the USIBC’s India Ideas Summit in New Delhi on September 7, the statement said.

Given annually since 2007, the Global Leadership Award recognizes top corporate executives from India and the US who demonstrate an active and dynamic commitment to strengthening the US-India partnership.

Past recipients of the award include Jeff Bezos, Founder, Executive Chairman and former President and CEO of Amazon; Google CEO Sundar Pichai; Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq; Fred Smith, founder and president of FedEx Corporation; and Uday Kotak, CEO of Kotak Mahindra.

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