1st Annual India Trade Conference - May 2008

Thank you again for supporting the May 2008 India Trade Seminar [ITC-2008], and making it a huge success.  A couple of hundred attendees, strong line-up of speakers, and highly interactive sessions.

Almex USA receiving the U.S. Dept of Commerce's Export Achievement Certificate
from Mr. Claudio Lilienfeld at the India Trade Seminar 2008.

"A galaxy of speakers. Exceptional." - Attendee from India.
"Congratulations on a conference very well presented". - UC-Irvine Guest.
"Panels were quite useful and liked the low-Powerpoint discussions." - Business Attendee.
"I think the event was a fantastic success!" - Govt Attendee.
"Meeting a few of the key people really helped me." - Business Attendee.
(Comments from the 2008 India Trade Seminar)

ITS2008 Post Seminar Release
ITS2008 Book Release Report


The India Trade Seminar which was held on May 28th, 2008 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts was a deemed a success by many of the participants who were interviewed afterwards, and exceeded its goal of 150 attendees by a substantial margin.

This was a unique event in that the focus was more on physical movement of import and export cargoes in a booming trade environment between the two countries. Additionally, there was a well balanced cross section among the panelists of businesses (of various sizes and types), academics, service providers and high-ranking government officials.

This Seminar was unique inasmuch as it provided both a strategic overview of trade between India and the United States as well as a pragmatic review of the mechanics of cargo movement. Additionally, although the bright spots of rapidly expanding trade were outlined by the USTR Rep Mr. Claudio Lilienfeld and the President of Almex USA, Mr. Ravi Tilak, the occasionally complex challenges of infrastructure within India as well as documentary & tariff issues were reviewed in a candid manner that would provide practical assistance.

By special arrangement a very senior official of the USTR in Washington Mr. Claudio Lilienfeld flew especially to Los Angeles to address the conference. As a result, we were able to have insider insights into the current state of progress of trade with India. Both Governments have established an astonishing number private/public bilateral working groups covering a broad array of sectors. The intense focus of these groups is reflected in the skyrocketing trade figures since 2003. We were told to expect a continuing upward trajectory of trade as framework agreements continue to be successfully negotiated due to political will that exists on both sides. The strong present and future growth of the component of defense-related (i.e., aircraft) orders for U.S. suppliers was especially interesting, even though constraints remain with regard to a number of export controls.

A wonderful highlight was the presentation of one of the highest export awards of the U.S. Department of Commerce, who were strongly represented by Paul Tambakis and Julie Anne Hennessy, to Almex USA.  Mr. Ravi Tilak, President of Almex USA gave a very eloquent address on the positive future for the Indian economy and society and the building of a special new relationship with the U.S. on a multi-dimensional basis.

A panel of logistics, customs & port experts gave numerous insights on the "how to" of the processes. Jay Patel (President, Westcoast Warehousing, LLP) and Roger Clarke (President, LA Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association) gave real life experiences of how they resolved challenges with real-world shipments. Both the modalities of airfreight and seafreight were discussed, and the unparalleled resources and services of the international airport and seaports here in California were explained. Means of risk reduction and due diligence methodology were the underlying principles that were communicated as "takeaways". The interest in the "how to" for small to medium size businesses and start-ups revealed a demand for future such sessions which would further investigate practical problems and their solutions.

Academics were well represented and USC Professor Dr. Ravi Kumar's incisive comments on his research into the corporate sector were highly illuminating and well received by the audience who engaged in spirited and informed dialogue with the panelists during the question and answer periods.

The presentations culminated with a book release and a fascinating commentary on contemporary corporate "mantras" and the "triple bottom line" by the author Dr. Subhash Sharma. Mr. Frank Quevedo, Vice President of Southern California Edison offered gracious closing remarks.

The culinary treats presented by Saffron Spot were a delight and topped off with distinctive and delicious Indian mango & saffron flavored ice creams.

The reception afterwards was a great hit with guests staying until the dimming of the lights at 8:30 p.m., and most reluctant to leave. This was a wonderful occasion for a social mingling of speakers and audience where the dialogue continued on an informal basis (which, ironically, is often the most effective means of in-depth communication). Miss India and..Miss Sri Lanka graced the reception with their presence in beautiful traditional dress and posed for numerous photographs by the "paparazzi". Numerous booths by vendors and service providers around the reception area contributed to the lively and friendly ambience. Gifts bags with generous donations by Southern California Edison, the Port of Los Angeles, and other sponsors were offered to all attendees.

This was a unique event due to dimensions of the occasion, but many inquired as to whether it would be held again, and we sincerely hope that the friendly and diverse organizers will consider making it a regular event !

Small-to-Medium Size Enterprises with an interest in trading with India. Service companies in the global transportation, financial, legal & trade insurance sectors. Corporations with an India strategy. Networking for professionals.
Expert panels from industry, government & academia
Real-life case studies of India trade experiences
Reception with cultural & culinary features
SPEAKERS (Full list here)
Claudio Lilienfeld, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Ravi Tilak, CEO, AlmexUSA
Art Stern, Desk Officer for India, US Department of Commerce
Brian Peck, Counsel for International Trade & IP, Crowell & Moring
David Josephson, Western Regional Director, Export-Import Bank
Julie Anne Hennessy, Director, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dr. K. Ravi Kumar, Professor, USC Marshall School of Business
Dr. Subhash Sharma, Dean, Indian Business Academy
Frank J. Quevedo, Vice President, Southern California Edison
Jehil Thakkar, Director, Emerging Markets Practice, KPMG International
Jeff Jankowiak, Partner, International Risk Consultants, Inc.
Jim MacLellan, Director of Trade Services, Port of Los Angeles
R Sampath, Director, Global Sourcing, Quanta Consulting, Inc.
Roger Clarke, President, LA Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association
Scott Kaiser, Vice President, Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank

U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Foreign Trade Association; USC Marshall School of Business; AEA; NetIP; CHCC; SABAN.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM     Registration.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM     Keynote Session.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM     Panel I: Business in India, Partnerships, Culture.
5:00 PM - 5:15 PM     Break.
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM     Panel II: Supply Chain, Logistics, Operations. [concurrent]
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM     Panel III: Finance, Banking, Legal, Risk. [concurrent]
6:15 PM - 8:30 PM     Reception with Cultural & Culinary Features.
8:30 PM - 9:50 PM     Post-Seminar Mixer.
Registration: $55 Admission
TIE: jay.proano@socal.tie.org  |  www.socal.tie.org

Event Details & Sponsor Contact
Quanta Consulting, Inc. www.quantaco.com

Event details subject to change. Sponsorships available.

Download PDF of the India Trade Seminar - May 2008, Los Angeles