South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley seeks strong business ties with India

 South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Friday sought building of business ties between her state and Indian companies.

Chandigarh: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Friday sought building of business ties between her state and Indian companies.

"India is my second home. Attracting investments from overseas companies is my job, but building business ties with Indian companies is my personal desire. Hence, I request CII to facilitate this as much as possible," Haley said.

She was addressing business leaders and entrepreneurs at an interaction on "Doing Business with South Carolina" organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Haley, who arrived here Thursday, is leading an 18-member delegation from South Carolina. She said companies from Punjab and Chandigarh could come and invest in South Carolina.

"Come, invest and set up a business in South Carolina and we at the government level will service you as an added employee as well. We will assign a specific project manager to you who will handhold you right from the beginning concerning all aspects like land, labour, financing, source of raw material, marketing, legal formalities, transportation facilities etc," Haley said.

"I believe if businesses are doing well in a state, all else like education, jobs, economy, health will fall perfectly in place and take care of them.

"Hence, the first thing I did after taking over was to do away with the regulations, bureaucracy and labour unions hurting the business. I set up a committee on business promotion with all industry members on the board," she said.

"Being pro-industry and focused on industry, now ours is the third best state in the US to do business in, with lowest cost of business and living," she said.

She said the key sectors to invest in South Carolina included automobile, aerospace, IT, pharmaceuticals, rubber and textiles.

"Boeing`s leading manufacturing plant is in our state and soon BMW`s South Carolina plant would also be their leading plant. So is the case of various top tyre manufacturers of the world like Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental etc.

It is so easy to do business in South Carolina. 60 percent of the new investments in South Carolina are from the existing businesses in the form of expansion," she said.

Nikki Haley had met Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday evening.

During the meeting, Haley told Badal that South Carolina would support Punjab in establishing aero-space, pharma-sector, tourism and agro-processing industries.

Haley, whose father`s family used to live in Verka suburb of Amritsar till the early 60s before migrating to the United States, arrived in Amritsar Friday.

She will offer prayers at the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, Saturday.

Haley was re-elected governor of South Carolina recently.

This is Haley`s first visit to her family`s home state in nearly four decades. Born in 1972, Nikki had last visited Amritsar as a two-year-old. Her father Ajit Singh Randhawa used to live in Verka.

Expressing her delight at coming back to Punjab, Haley said: "The last time I came here was when I was two years old. I am looking forward to the visit to the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple)."

Haley is on a 10-day trip to India where she is visiting New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Amritsar to seek investment for her state.

In Amritsar, she will visit the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh Saturday. She will also visit the Guru Nanak Dev University and meet students there. She will be meeting her relatives also.

Relatives of Haley, who was Nimrata Randhawa before her marriage, had celebrated in Verka when she became South Carolina governor for the first time in Nov 2010.

She became the first Indian-American woman to become governor of a state in the US.

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