NEW DELHI — Building upon the U.S.-India Business Council’s successful Smart Cities Conclave in November, USIBC today hosted a Smart Cities Roundtable for Visakhapatnam with senior representatives from the Ministry of Urban Development and the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Diane Farrell, Acting-President of USIBC led representatives from 25 major U.S. companies, including 3M, AECOM, Applied Materials, CH2MHill, Cisco, Dow, GE, Hospira, IBM, Microsoft, and United Technologies Corporation, in detailed discussions with Center and State government officials to create a roadmap and advance the goal of developing Visakhapatnam into a Smart City as articulated in the joint statement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi in September.

Representing the Union Ministry of Urban Development was Joint Secretary in-charge of Visakhapatnam, Mr. Praveen Prakash, who was joined by Mr. A Giridhar, Principal Secretary for Urban Development for the Government of Andhra Pradesh; Vice-Chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority; Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and the District Collector of Visakhapatnam. Complimenting USIBC for its hands-on approach, Mr. Prakash said, “We are delighted to see the progress made here today which reaffirmed the commitment of the government and U.S. industry towards building Visakhapatnam as a model for India’s 100 smart cities plan.”

Smart Cities are the integration of information technology, telecommunications, urban planning, smart infrastructure and operations in an environment geared to maximize the quality of life for a city's population. During USIBC’s first Smart Cities Conclave held last November, India’s Urban Development Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu had invited USIBC to constitute Smart City sub-committees in order to prepare an action plan for Visakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer.

"The Council and its member companies look to play an integral role in India's commitment to build 100 Smart Cities across the nation and particularly in Visakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer. With the second bilateral meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi in less than four months, there is a shared sense of desire to deliver measurable results, which is the ultimate aim of the Smart Cities Initiative," said USIBC Acting President Diane Farrell.

About USIBC: Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.