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Maryland draws $60 mn from Indian cos

December 13, 2011 09:38 IST

US dollarsMaryland Governor has said that his recent trade mission to India opened new doors for the US state in the field of trade and investment as business deals worth $60 million were inked during the mission.

"Our six-day mission to India has already produced some significant results, with nearly $60 million in business deals for Maryland companies and millions more to come as additional deals with Indian partners are signed," Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley told reporters, a week after his return from the India that took him to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The mission has opened new doors for Maryland to create jobs, bolster trade and investment and strengthen existing business and cultural relationships, he said.

"Together, with our entire delegation, we are sending a strong message to India's top business organisations and companies that Maryland is the gateway to doing business in the US," he said.

The high-powered delegation to the three Indian cities included top state officials and business community leaders.

O'Malley said two Indian companies plan investments in Maryland and eight Maryland businesses inked deals with Indian partners, with a combined total of nearly $60 million in business deals for the state and several additional deals worth millions still on the horizon.

"This mission was a huge success in terms of opportunities identified including six deals signed for Prince George's County," said the County's Executive Rushern L Baker III, a member of the delegation.

During his trip, the Governor met with a number of top Indian companies to promote Maryland as an ideal location for establishing US operations, and signed an agreement in New Delhi with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry  to create an India-Maryland Center in the US state to boost trade.

Ficci officials also announced that the business organisation would lead a delegation to Maryland in April 2012 and focus on establishing partnerships in biotechnology, renewable energy and infrastructure.

In Mumbai, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian S Johansson joined the US India Importers Council in the signing of an agreement committing Maryland and India to boost imports and exports, O' Malley said.

In the first nine months of this year, the Port of Baltimore saw $341 million in trade to and from India compared with $229 million from the same time frame in 2010 -- a 49 per cent increase, he said.

Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wadhwani Foundation and Jindal Educational Initiatives, of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, to strengthen vocational education and instructor capacity in India and establish the India Vocational Faculty Development Center for Excellence, he said.

The goal of the collaboration is to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate a technical trade instructor training program and related instructional materials.

Montgomery College will share its expertise in curricula, pedagogy, and learning environments, an official release said.

The Governor's office said Jasco Nutri Foods, an India-based manufacturer and exporter of organic food products, has entered into an understanding for development consulting services with Chesapeake Investments Group in Bowie to invest $10 million in opening a facility on a 1,500 acre location yet to be determined in Maryland.

The plans for the location will be finalised over the next two months, but the new facility could generate up to 100 jobs when operational.

Jubilant Life Sciences, one of India's pharmaceutical and life sciences companies with a drug manufacturing facility in Salisbury, also announced plans to invest $20 million to triple its warehouse space on the Eastern Shore and add new jobs, the Governor's office said.

No timeline has been given for the expansion, but the company reports a dramatic increase in sales from $3 million in 2005 to $42 million this year and a jump in employees from 25 six years ago to more than 240 currently, it said.

In addition, nine Maryland companies signed significant deals or joint ventures with companies in India.

Several companies are continuing to have discussions with potential Indian partners, including ARINC, the Annapolis-based leading provider of managed IT services and support for the aviation industry, which joined Governor O'Malley for a meeting with India's Civil Aviation Minister Vaylavar Ravi to discuss modernisation of India's airports and a tender issued by the Airports Authority of India to upgrade 25 of its airports.

In total, 10 Maryland firms conducted meetings in three cities with qualified agents, distributors and joint venture partners for a total of nearly 90 one-on-one, face-to-face business appointments with interested Indian firms, the Governor's office said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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