Spe­cial Re­port

FICCI's Fo­rum of Parliamentarians: Bridg­ing Indo-US Re­la­tion­ship

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

The­matic fo­cus: So­cio-eco­nomic po­ten­tial of Me­dia and En­ter­tain­ment and Sports sec­tors and best prac­tices from the US

Ahead of In­dia's elec­tion year in 2019 and United States Midterm elec­tions 2018 – per­haps as the last out­bound del­e­ga­tion from FICCI's Fo­rum of Parliamentarians dur­ing the 16th Lok Sabha – a group of nine mem­bers of Par­lia­ment vis­ited the United States as part of the an­nual mis­sion of the In­dia-US Fo­rum of Parliamentarians.

Twin Fo­cus Ar­eas:

For­eign Pol­icy & Bi­lat­eral Re­la­tion­ship; Sec­toral Theme

An un­der­stand­ing of In­dia-US Strate­gic Part­ner­ship:

To gain an un­der­stand­ing of for­eign pol­icy and to in­ter­act with po­lit­i­cal and pol­icy de­ci­sion-mak­ers with spe­cial em­pha­sis on In­dia and Asia-Pa­cific. The visit re­it­er­ated once again, the bi­par­ti­san sup­port that In­dia has en­joyed over the years in the United States.

The Fo­rum of Parliamentarians is FICCI's unique ini­tia­tive for po­lit­i­cal out­reach across party af­fil­i­a­tions cov­er­ing both Houses of the In­dian Par­lia­ment in true bi­par­ti­san spirit. FICCI's In­dia-US Fo­rum of Parliamentarians was con­sti­tuted in 2002 along the lines of the 'In­dia Cau­cus' and 'Se­nate Friends of In­dia' Group in the US Congress. It pro­vides an im­por­tant plat­form to In­dian Parliamentarians to de­velop and strengthen In­dia-US re­la­tions through Track II ini­tia­tives on a neu­tral plat­form.

The 2018 edi­tion de­liv­ered all that it promised and more! A ground­ing

in for­eign pol­icy through a work­shop with ex­perts at Ge­orge­town Uni­ver­sity, ex­change of views with key stake­hold­ers in the In­dia-US po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and pol­icy ma­trix and a clear the­matic fo­cus (M&E and Sports were the twin fo­cus ar­eas for 2018) was de­liv­ered through site vis­its and in­ter­ac­tion with in­dus­try lead­er­ship and reg­u­la­tory arms of the US gov­ern­ment.

The study visit of 2018 cov­ered a wide range of in­ter­ac­tions in Los An­ge­les and Wash­ing­ton DC from 915 Septem­ber 2018. The multi-party group of MPs was led by Anurag Singh Thakur, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and Har­shavard­han Neo­tia, Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI and Chair of FICCI Fo­rum of Parliamentarians Coun­cil.

The ex­cit­ing jour­ney com­menced with a visit to Los An­ge­les to un­der­stand the so­cio-eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion of two sec­tors to the Amer­i­can econ­omy and so­ci­ety: me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment and sports ecosys­tem. The sig­nif­i­cance of uni­ver­sity sports and af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion in sport was cov­ered along­side a glimpse into the business model and strat­egy of sports leagues. Vis­its to Fox Stu­dios, Net­flix, Dis­ney Stu­dios, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Head­quar­ters and Mon­u­men­tal Sports and En­ter­tain­ment – Cap­i­tal One Arena – was a vis­ual treat and helped un­der­stand the pas­sion and pre­ci­sion of the business.

An ed­u­ca­tional ex­change and live demon­stra­tion on Piracy Liv­ing Room or­gan­ised by MPAA (Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica) was a lit­eral eye-opener into the do­main of on­line and so­phis­ti­cated piracy.

Con­stant adap­ta­tion and the chal­lenge to con­tin­u­ously cre­ate fresh con­tent, en­hance au­di­ence ex­pe­ri­ence and upgra­da­tion of ser­vices on de­mand emerged as the most pop­u­lar strat­egy. 'Light touch'

reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment that works to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for mar­ket forces came forth as the as­pect to be ap­pre­ci­ated across the two sec­tors.

A visit to the LA2028 Olympics Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee Head­quar­ters for an in­ter­ac­tion with the lead­er­ship of­fered an ac­count of the sys­tem­atic and in­clu­sive en­gage­ment of lo­cal com­mu­nity and stake­hold­ers right from the bid­ding and plan­ning stages. The em­pha­sis on sus­tain­abil­ity and cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proach to the cre­ation of in­fra­struc­ture and prepa­ra­tion for the games was an eye opener.

Be­fore the DC leg of the tour, the first edi­tion of the 2+2 Di­a­logue had ended in New Delhi the week be­fore with the his­toric sign­ing of COMCASA (Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­pat­i­bil­ity and Se­cu­rity Agree­ment) and a strong com­mit­ment to work to­wards a free, open and in­clu­sive Indo-Pa­cific.

There was in­deed pal­pa­ble en­thu­si­asm amongst po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials for a closer, syn­chro­nised part­ner­ship be­tween In­dia and the US. Grow­ing con­cerns about China's as­sertive­ness in the re­gion were also ev­i­dent.

The del­e­ga­tion met peers in the In­dia Cau­cus, House For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee and the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, at­tended a closed-door meet­ing with Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (Mike O'Rielly, FCC Com­mis­sioner), USTR (Mark Lin­scott, Asst USTR, South and Cen­tral Asia, Sam Dupont, ICT Ser­vices and Dig­i­tal Trade) and se­nior of­fi­cials re­spon­si­ble for US For­eign Pol­icy to­wards In­dia and the con­tigu­ous re­gion: Lisa Cur­tis (Deputy As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent and Se­nior Di­rec­tor for South and

Mem­bers of FICCI's Fo­rum of Parliamentarians in the US with In­dian Am­bas­sador to US.

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