Eight US governors, city mayors plan to visit India in 2013

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 23, 2013

A file photo of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake

Reflecting the concerted effort on the part of the US to tap the huge investment and business climate that India offers, as many as eight American governors and mayors are planning to visit the country this year.

“This year, at least eight American governors and city mayors plan to visit India with trade and investment delegations, which the State Department is pleased to help arrange,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told students of the Berkeley Institute of International Studies in California on Thursday.

The California Governor, Jerry Brown, too is planning an India visit, he said.

“During these visits, state officials and private sector representatives explore opportunities for job creation and investments by American companies in India and Indian companies in America,” he said.

“Our state officials increasingly understand that as the fastest-growing market for US exports, India provides significant opportunities to drive US job growth and bring economic opportunity to the American workforce,” he added.

In February this year, a 30-member delegation from California travelled to India to explore agricultural cooperation with Haryana, Blake said.

The delegation, which included deans from four different California universities, promoted the expertise and technological know-how, including in drip irrigation, horticulture, and cold storage facilities, of great benefit to the state’s agricultural economy, he said.

Indian companies adding to US economy

Blake said businesses and citizens on both sides are recognising the benefits of increased partnership.

A 2012 report by the industry body CII noted that Indian companies in America had invested more than $820 million in US-based facilities, had collectively conducted 72 mergers and acquisitions in the US since 2005, and had projected research and development investments estimated to be over $190 million in 2012 alone.

Indian companies operating in the US are adding tremendous value to the local economies in which they operate, the most tangible effects of which are felt at the state and county levels.

“That’s why one of our top priorities in building the partnership with India is to expand state-and local-level engagement,” he said.

Referring to the substantial jump in India-US trade, Blake said the booming trade relationship already is delivering substantial benefits to the American people.

Over the past decade, our bilateral trade has nearly quadrupled, reaching nearly $100 billion last year.

India is also among the fastest growing investors in the US, highlighting the mutually beneficial nature of our economic relationship.

Blake said the expanding economic base, which includes everything from high-tech and media to finance and tourism, could be even larger if the Indian government addresses policy and regulatory restrictions that constrain imports from the United States and elsewhere.

“Despite this promise, India faces enormous resource constraints, particularly in infrastructure. Current estimates suggest that 80 percent of the infrastructure required to sustain and support India in 2030 has yet to be built,” he said.

Reviewing the bilateral relationship, Blake said there is perhaps no nation in the world with which they have travelled faster and farther over the last fifteen years than India.

“From 1998 when India exploded a nuclear weapon and we enacted sanctions in response, we have seen a remarkable transformation forged on the basis of common values such as pluralism, tolerance, openness, and respect for fundamental freedoms,” he said.

“We have seen important milestones from 9/11 when both our nations recognised the opportunity to work more closely to counter terrorism, to the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2005,” he said.

Published on March 23, 2013
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