The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) led a series of discussions and meetings between top executives of the media industry and senior Government of India officials to discuss how opportunities can support the recent initiatives of the government, including Make in India, Digital India, and improving the country's ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index.
Led by Joe Welch, Senior Vice President for 21st Century Fox, the delegation included senior representatives from The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, Viacom 18, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
India is already home to more than 800 television channels with 140 million paid TV homes and a vibrant film industry that produces more than 1,000 movies in a year. The delegates expressed continued commitment to the market, which is expected to grow at 13.9% annually - double that of the global media and entertainment industry. Film and television are significant employment generators for the Indian economy and enhance India's image among external audiences from a socio-cultural perspective.
"Media and entertainment companies are celebrating over 20 years of Making in India, and as an industry we are eager to do more given the appropriate policy environment. We are encouraged by the Government of India's willingness to see the industry as a partner for growth," said mission leader, Joe Welch.
Talks between industry executives and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Department of Telecommunications, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, and the Ministry of External Affairs focused on providing a further impetus to the already robust sector and taking appropriate policy measures to reach the $100bn level by 2020. Such policy measures include liberalization of foreign direct investment caps, restrictions on vertical integration, single window permitting, digitization implementation, and copyright enforcement.
Diane Farrell, USIBC Executive Vice President said, "The two day mission was conducted with the goal to raise the profile of the media and entertainment industry as a key contributor to India's growth. The media sector in India is promising for the Council's member companies, but is also a real opportunity for the Government of India to create jobs and showcase itself as a global leader in content creation."