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IACCGH Monthly Programs
Meeting with President Bush's Advisory Commission

Meeting with President Bush�s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at Metro Bank Conference Room on Augusts 5th 2004 at 9.00am

The President�s Advisory Commission on AAPI and the office of the White House Initiative on AAPI were renewed earlier this year by President Bush in an Executive Order entitled, �Increasing Economic Opportunity and Business Participation of Asian Americans and pacific Islanders.: The Commission consisting of 14 members and the Director of the Initiative, Eddy R. Badrina, are housed at the Department of commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. The Commission�s purpose is to propogate widespread integration of Asian and Pacific Islander small business into the ample economic opportunity that is available in our free market system. They have divided into four areas of concern: Entrepreneurship. Business development opportunities, community development and health.

IACCGH was represented by Board Member & Treasurer HP Bhagat who made a 3 minute presentation on issues of concern to our members.

IACCGH was represented by Board Member & Treasurer HP Bhagat who made a 3 minute presentation on issues of concern to our members.

The Meeting was conducted by Council member MJ Khan, and was arranged by Council member Gordon Quan who spoke about Immigrant Visas that are available with significant investment by the applicant and are called the EB-5 (Employment Based Visa) program. Each applicant in addition to significant financial investments must create 10 jobs in the local economy. Councilmember Quan felt that promoting such Visa�s could result in a Quarter Billion Dollar investment in the local economy. He expressed dis-satisfaction with the existing arrangements because of the time it takes and the limited success of the applicants. He recommended the Australian and Canadian models which are on a pre-approved basis.The Commission Members suggested that Councilmember Gordon Quan submit a White Paper on issues concerning H-1 B Visa�s and immigration issues.

Other speakers spoke on subjects ranging from immigration problems, healthcare costs and problems specific to their businesses.

Speakers spoke about janitorial services and other issues.

HP Bhagat addressed items of common interest like immigration and healthcare costs.

He also covered the following points based on suggestions form Chamber members/community members.

a) Free Trade Agreement between US & India which is the largest democracy in the world with population of 1.8 million Indo-Americans in the US. He stated that such a free trade agreement would lead to tremendous goodwill and understanding between the two nations.

b) Request the commission make a suggestion that requires a percentage of the
value of the contract to be awarded to small disadvantaged businesses
which were not awarded any contract by the specific federal agency in the
last three years (duration may be changed as appropriate).

Federal Government requires all federal agencies to award a portion of
contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses such as owned by Asian
Americans. Small businesses are required to graduate after 10 years in set
aside programs such as 8(a) so that new small disadvantaged businesses get
opportunity. Unfortunately, same small disadvantaged business is awarded
contracts again and again. Bids from new small disadvantaged businesses
are rejected with excuse of lack of experience in offering services to the
Federal Government or its prime contractors

c) Dipawali Celebrations at the White House were a grand success. Mr. Bhagat suggested that this should be continued on an annual basis.

d) A request was also made for a stamp commemorating Dipawali and the Indo-American community be recommended

e) Mr Bhagat also strongly recommended creation of Asian Small businessman of the Year Award similar to the  �Small Businessman of the Year award�.



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