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Former USIBC chief launches India First Group

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Ron Somers, who recently resigned as the president of the influential US Business Council (USIBC), today announced the launch of his First Group, with an objective of boosting India-US bilateral relationship.

Somers, who as USIBC president for about a decade played a key role in Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, said is on the move and India First Group which was recently registered as an international strategic advisory firm argued that in the interest of bilateral relationship it is time that the Obama Administration issue a statement welcoming Modi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate, to visit the United States.

"Now it is imperative for the US Government to make a statement welcoming the Prime Ministerial candidate Modi to visit the United States at any time," Somers told PTI.

"Further, the State Department and the now need to propose an Ambassador to occupy the Roosevelt House in who can bring the gravitas and importance to the relationship that it so deserves," he said in response to a question.

"In so far as the business community is concerned, we all need now to pull together, to restore the enthusiasm and faith in the commercial relationship that is at the heart of the US-India strategic partnership," said Somers, adding that the India First Group has been formed to strengthen bilateral relationship between the two largest democracies of the world.

Now the CEO and founder of India First Group, Somers had played a key role in the landmark US-India civil nuclear initiative. This year, he batted for India at the Congress and before the US Government on contentious issues such as intellectual property rights and pharma sector.

Prior to leading USIBC, Somers served as Unocal's Chief Executive Officer in India in charge of Unocal's development portfolio on the Subcontinent. As Unocal's Country Head, he was responsible for securing potential customers and forming strategic alliances in India for the proposed Bangladesh-India Natural Gas Pipeline.

First Published: Wed, May 07 2014. 07:28 IST