US India China Initiative

US-INDIA-CHINA Initiative at SAIS
Promoting Growth and Prosperity through Collaboration and Exchange
 
Background
    
As never before, the world’s attention and fortunes are tied to the burgeoning growth of India and China; the world’s largest populations and its fastest growing bilateral trade relationship. Recognizing the critical nature of understanding this dynamic, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at The Johns Hopkins University has created the US-India-China Initiative (USICI) to facilitate greater collaboration, knowledge and leadership exchange between people of influence in India, China, and the US. The US-India-China Initiative (USICI) was launched with a generous grant  in August 2012 from the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, one of the world’s largest corporations based in India.
 
Objective

The USICI staff has put in motion the planning of several activities based on initial contributions. These efforts include a student research trip to China in January 2013 that involved graduate students from SAIS, and Indian and Chinese universities. The focus of the ten-day study trip was the evolving relationship between India and China and involved meetings both in Shanghai (China’s chief commercial center) and Beijing (the political capital). The focus of the Shanghai portion of the trip was trade and the focus in Beijing was formal diplomatic relations between India and China. A second graduate student trip is being planned for fall 2013, which would focus on Chinese and Indian aid programs in Africa and again involve students from the three countries traveling to Africa together. The conference on “Doing Business in India and China” is the  formal launch for the Initiative and will features presentations by prominent figures with global visibility from academia, business and journalism. The conference will also include “trip-reports” from the participants from the January 2013 study trip to China.
 
Over the next three years, the Initiative plans to engage in a robust series of interrelated programming including conferences, student trips and joint research projects with participants from the US, India and China.
 
Activities
                                                  
Conferences: The USICI plans to host three annual conferences, one in each country, on timely issues relating to US-India-China relations. These conferences will provide an opportunity for current private and public sector luminaries to connect with experts in academia, industry and government. Proposed topics include: tri-lateral cooperation around energy and energy alternatives, higher education as a vehicle for economic growth; the frontiers of technology and information services; transnational infrastructure cooperation; the role of the finance sector in development, and the role of entrepreneurship in growth. The Initiative will seek corporate co-sponsors for the conference to demonstrate broad tri-lateral support for the programs and off-set expenses. 
 
Junior and Senior Fellows: Each year the Initiative will select a cohort of  Junior Fellows, Each cohort will travel to each of the countries and develop scholarly research, business case studies and in-depth articles that will be presented at the conferences noted above and showcased on the USICI portal.
 
Student Trips: The Initiative will sponsor student study trips involving participants from the US, India and China.
 
 
Looking Ahead
 
The Initiative is housed at SAIS in Washington, DC and directed by Dr. Walter Andersen, a respected scholar, diplomat and Director of the SAIS South Asia Studies Program. An advisory committee comprised of representatives of the Ambani Group, other funders, key business leaders, and public sector luminaries, will be recruited to serve and called upon to help finalize conference topics, recruit conference speakers, and nominate Fellows. Ms. Neelima Kota is a Program Associate involved in planning and Ms. Rebecca Aman is the chief administrative officer.
 
SAIS leadership will ensure the Initiative meets all operating requirements of Johns Hopkins University, which represents the ultimate governing body of SAIS and the Initiative.
 
The US-India-China Initiative has the potential to be the foremost respected convener in this field. It will address a significant gap in mutual understanding and interpersonal interaction between these two emerging economic giants and will foster a powerful network of the future academic, business, and policy experts with the experiences, insight and understanding to help the world navigate critical US, India and China relations.