2021 Indo-Pacific Business Forum promotes an open, interconnected, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific
Sat, Oct 30, 2021, 09:07 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Oct 30, Colombo: The Governments of the United States and India co-hosted the fourth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) virtually October 28-29, 2021. This marked the first time this event has been co-hosted in South Asia, a U.S. Department of State statement said.
More than 2,300 business and government leaders from the United States, India, economies of the Indo-Pacific region, and countries around the world participated.
The 2021 Indo-Pacific Business Forum provided the opportunity for business executives and government leaders to forge connections, learn about industry, regulatory, and policy trends, and explore new ways to contribute to regional and global economic recovery. The key themes for the Forum were economic recovery and resilience; climate action; and digital innovation.
Participating U.S. and partner nation officials, and executives representing businesses operating in the Indo-Pacific region, highlighted a wide range of commercial deals and new initiatives, including:
- Arizona-based First Solar formally announced a decision to invest $684 million in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for a new, vertically integrated solar module manufacturing facility. The investment is linked with creating more than 1,000 jobs, with an anticipated 60 percent of the employment going to women.
- U.S. firm Bentley Systems announced a $1 billion acquisition and partnership with New Zealand-based Seequent, a global leader in 3D modeling software for the geosciences. The deal will facilitate collaboration of software solutions between two groundbreaking infrastructure companies.
- FedEx built a new $30 million express air cargo gateway at Clark International Airport in the Philippines. The opening of the Clark gateway facility marks the 37th anniversary of FedEx in the Philippines. FedEx will employ more than 900 team members at Clark.
- Amazon Web Services announced the opening of a Cloud Region in New Zealand, valued as a $5.25 billion investment. The cloud center is expected to create 1,000 jobs and boost the country’s digital economy.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced $49 million for the South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP). This initiative will improve access to affordable, secure, reliable, and sustainable energy in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka – strengthening systems and processes in line with these countries’ economic and energy-security priorities.
- The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will make an equity investment in a Nepal-based private equity fund focused on small and medium enterprises. The fund is targeted to reach $75 million in commitments for investment in portfolio companies in Nepal. This project marks the DFC’s first investment in Nepal.
- DFC is also providing a $50 million loan to Northern Arc Capital to expand its loan portfolio with a focus on loans for women-owned businesses and food security in India. The loan is part of a co-financing with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which will also provide a $50 million loan.
- A U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) feasibility study will help develop four utility-scale solar generation plants in collaboration with the Rural Electrification Finance Corporation in the Philippines.
- USTDA is helping Vietnam’s Ecotek Corporation transform its Ecopark Township into a cutting-edge smart and sustainable city through technical assistance that will develop a project implementation roadmap.