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From Economic Times, India: Biggest US Trade Mission to Visit India

 21 Nov 2006

HOUSTON: US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Frank Lavin is leading one of the largest business development missions to India to participate in the India Business Summit, which begins in Mumbai from November 28.

The mission includes 238 business participants representing 186 US companies, according to a Commerce Department statement released yesterday.

"With US export growth to India in excess of 24 per cent in 2006 and sustained annual Indian economic growth of 8 per cent, the time is ripe for American companies to look for business opportunities there," Lavin said.

"The goal of the mission is to position US firms for long-term business success in this fast growing market so we can expand our exports and create more American jobs."

Total US exports to India in 2005 were USD 7.9 billion, an increase of 30 per cent over 2004. Through September 2006, US exports have grown 24.3 per cent over the same period last year.

Following the business summit, most companies will continue on to spin-off business matchmaking missions in Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

The US Commercial Service is arranging market briefings, networking receptions, and one-on-one business appointments with prospective agents, distributors, partners, and end-users for each US company.

The mission stems from a commitment by President George W Bush to elevate the Commercial Dialogue during his March 2006 visit to India.

"India is now at a transformational time in its economic development and the economic reforms India has made in the last few years have seen an improved business and investment climate," Lavin said.

"There is much more that can be done and I will use this mission to continue our Commercial Dialogue with India to knock down barriers to trade and investment."

The trade mission represents a diverse range of industry sectors, with the greatest participation from medical/healthcare companies, information technology companies, energy/power/oil and gas companies, and telecommunications companies.

There are participants from 35 US states, the District of Columbia, and from outside the US within the US, California, Texas, the District of Columbia, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania have the largest number of participants.

Businesses of all sizes will be participating, but small firms comprise 68 per cent of the mission.

"This delegation promises to be the largest ever US Trade mission to India and participants will have access to India's high-level business, industry, and government representatives and opportunities to gain insights into the country's trade and investment climate during strategic breakout sessions," Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) said
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