SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Indian American International Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, launched its Western San Francisco Regional Chapter, Northern California State Chapter, and Forum on Women in Business and Leadership Western Regional Chapter here Dec. 10.

At the launch, the forum included Eleni Kounalakis, Lt. Governor of California; Libby Schaaf, mayor of Oakland; Ambassador Sanjay Panda, Consul General of India in San Francisco; Robyn Denholm, Tesla Chair; K.V. Kumar, president and CEO, IAICC Executive Board; Mary Huss, publisher; John China, president, SVB Capital; Lily Mei, mayor of Fremont; and Ash Kalra from the California State Assembly Office.

Leaders from both government and business sectors not only celebrated the launch of these chapters but also addressed important issues such as sustainable economic growth, threats from climate change, inclusion of women in global economy, and women in decision making processes at different levels of leadership, according to a press release.

Chief guest Lt. Gov. Kounalakis, who is also the California’s representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, said, “California and India share much in common. Together, we will build on our partnership to create inclusive and sustainable economic growth while also collaborating in the fight against climate change, which threatens us all.”

She also noted that the launch of the Forum on Women in Business and Leadership “will ensure that women’s participation in communal, national, and global climate decision-making processes are part and parcel of our efforts. Women’s leadership is essential to the development of any mitigation and resilience strategy that India and California co-create.”

Mayor Schaaf stated, “I proudly stand with our California female leaders who are deeply committed to inclusion, diversity and economic development across all the strata of our society, and specifically in my Oakland. I wish the endeavor continued success.”

During his address, Consul General Panda said, “We are now on the threshold of a qualitative transformation in our bilateral engagement and California has that special X-factor to fast track this process.”

Kumar said that his mission is to use all available resources through IAICC to promote and foster economic development between the U.S. and India together with the rest of the world for the benefit of all.

Dr. Nandini Tandon, a member of the IAICC executive board and Western Region chair, said, “We are at an exciting juncture with stronger U.S.-India ties and increasing influence of women in the new era of global economy.”

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