Even as United States President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke on Monday about the next round of the bilateral Strategic Dialogue, Indian organisations in the U.S. and Indian-Americans have been pushing for even stronger commercial ties between the two countries.
Earlier this year the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) unveiled an insightful and wide-ranging survey showing evidence that India-based companies with U.S. operations saved, through their acquisition of U.S. firms, 2585 jobs from being eliminated during the global economic downturn.
On that occasion the Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Meera Shankar, noted that these companies, which span a diverse range of sectors and had operations across 40 U.S. states, had not only generated and sustained thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the U.S., but had also “contributed to the global competitiveness of U.S. companies.”
The survey’s results showed progress made since Mr. Obama’s November 2010 visit to India, which saw the inking of trade and commercial deals exceeding $14.9 billion in value with $9.5 billion in U.S. exports leading to the creation of an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs.
Last week there was yet another connection made between India and one U.S. state in particular – Texas. With a view to giving a fillip to trade ties between India and the “Lone Star” state, several members of the Texas Congressional delegation had a dinner meeting with Ms. Shankar.
Ashok Mago a businessman and a prominent Indian-American who was involved in some of the discussions leading to the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement, was one of the prime organisers of the event, which to him was a step towards promoting even more trade between Texas and India.
Pointing out that Texas was a leading U.S. state for exports and agriculture and also had a large number of Fortune Five Hundred companies, Mr. Mago said in comments to The Hindu, “Business and political leaders in India should look into the opportunities Texas has to offer.”
Describing the event he added, “The Indian Ambassador was delighted to have the opportunity to exchange ideas with nine Congressmen – Pete Sessions, Mike Conaway, Sylvester Reyes, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ted Poe, Pete Olson, Bill Flores, Blake Farenthold and Francisco Canseco.”
Ms. Shankar was said to have not only hosted these nine Congressmen but also met individually with Congressmen Mac Thornberry, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ralph Hall, Joe Barton and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at their offices.