Washington: Governors of as many as nine Americans States attended a corporate reception of Indian companies and sought their investments in the respective States.
While gathering of so many US governors at the corporate reception of other countries is considered rare, their presence at the event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry-India Business Forum (CII-IBF) yesterday reflected the new bonhomie of economic relationship between the two countries.
Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, who returned from nine-day India trip last week, said the future growth of his State is largely tied to plugging into the global economy, specifically to India.
"As the fastest-growing market for US exporters, India provides significant opportunities to increase US growth," he told the select audience.
The Arizona Governor, Janice Brewer said that her State regards India as an "important growing and moving trading partner" and announced that she is planning her first trip to India.
She asked Indian companies to come and invest in her State especially in high-tech sector, aerospace defence and renewable energy.
Praising Indian businesses in his States, Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas said the Indian companies not only create jobs and economic growth, but tie-ups with them also provides an educational opportunity, among other things.
"We are very proud of our relationship with India. We are very proud of influence of Indian culture," Beebe said.
Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa said that he is excited about leading the first trade delegation to India in September.
Describing Iowa as a great partner of India, Branstad said Iowans are very pleased to have people of Indian descent.
Praising the corporate culture being displayed by the Indian companies, Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming said he is very proud of the business relationship his State has with Indian companies.
Asking Indian companies to come into Connecticut, neighbouring New York, Governor Dannel Malloy, said that the largest producer - Tasty Bites -- of Indian food outside India is in his State.
"We welcome you to Connecticut," he said. India, said Governor Gary Herbert of Utah, is among the top five trading partner of her State.
Utah, he said has a very significant and growing Indian population.
"Your (Indian) investments are amazing," said Governor Patrick McCrory of North Carolina, adding that the corporate values, hard work and family values of Indian companies is second to none.
"I will be the first North Carolina Governor to take a trade delegation to India.
I will make this happen," McCrory said amidst applause from the select invited guests.
Governor Margaret Hassan of New Hampshire also spoke during the events.
The two Indian American Governors from the Republican Party - Bobby Jindal from Louisiana and Nikki Haley from South Carolina - could not be present at the corporate reception due to their prior engagements.
The Indian Ambassador to US, Nirupama Rao, said the presence of so many Governors at one single platform is a testimony to the fact that such business engagements have expanded, particularly, in recent years to include stronger and increasingly more meaningful ties with individual States.
Noting that the list of American Governors travelling to India now continues to grow, Rao said this is a powerful link in India-US relationship.
The rapidly growing presence of Indian business companies in the US is a manifestation of the economic re-emergence of India, she said.
The purpose of the reception, themed "Indian Roots, American Soil: Supporting State Economies" was to highlight the contributions of Indian companies across the United States.
The event showcased Indian FDI (foreign direct investment) flows to the US, job creation and investments by Indian companies in the US as well as their local community engagements at the State level.
"This is for the first time that the CII-IBF is directly engaging with Governors and key economic development offices from the States," said Sandhya Satwadi, director and head, CII North America.
The recognition by the governors of the jobs created and economic growth contributed by Indian companies in the US demonstrates the importance of a strong relationship between India and the US, said Dave Delie, chairman of the CII-India Business Forum and CEO of Welspun Tubular.
He said this relationship can further help strengthen the economies of the States where Indian companies are located and the United States as a whole.