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Rediff.com  » News » Nikki Haley is a star in India, says Nirupama Rao

Nikki Haley is a star in India, says Nirupama Rao

Last updated on: March 2, 2012 11:33 IST

'Indians in the United States committed, they are great'

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Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC

Indian Americans are committed and they are great when it comes to medicine, engineering, business or anything else that they touch, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley told reporters in the state capital Columbia on Wednesday after a meeting with visiting Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao.

South Carolina Governor Nimrata 'Nikki' Randhawa Haley has declared that besides Indians in the United States being committed to their country,
"they are great."

Appearing with India's Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, to whom she was playing host to during a three-day swing through this southern state, Haley addressing a joint press conference in Columbia, said, "We are thrilled to be here, and I am so honoured to have Ambassador Rao representing us for India."

This was Rao's first trip to South Carolina as the Indian ambassador. 

Haley, who was among the earliest Republican governors to back presidential frontrunner and erstwhile Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, said, "You'll have long heard me talk about great things about India."

"My favourite is how committed the Indian citizens are in this country," she said, and added, "I love the fact that they are great in medicine, they are great at engineering, they are great at business. Everything they touch, they are great."

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Image: South Carolina's Governor Nikki Haley waves to supporters
Photographs: Reuters

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'Indian community least dependent on government assistance'

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"But when you put it into words, the Indian community is one of the highest educated community of all minorities in the country. The Indian community has the highest per capita income of all the minorities in the country," said the first Indian-American woman governor.

"The Indian community is the one community that is the least dependent on government assistance, and the one that I love is that the Indian community, continues to be at the top of one of the most philanthropic minorities in the country," she said.

Thus, Haley said, "I continue to be incredibly proud and as I've become governor, what I saw was an opportunity -- it's an opportunity to partner with a country that I know continues to be strong when it comes to developing new things in IT, in innovation, in medicine, and all these things and it was how do we get Indian companies to come and do business in South Carolina? How do we partner so that we benefit?"

The governor said that in her discussions with Rao, she "told her that we want to help them and we want them to help us. We are going to continue our talks and our meetings in (Washington) DC, as we talk to CEOs that we are looking to do business in South Carolina, and we are also going to talk to her about what we do in higher education, what we do in energy, what we do with infrastructure, as they are looking to build and make things stronger in India as well."


Image: Haley is the first woman Indian Amercian governor of a US state


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'Haley epitomises the achievements of Indian-Americans'

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Rao, in her remarks, said, "This has been a very important visit for me. I had greatly looked forward to meeting Governor Nikki Haley ever since my arrival here -- or even before that when she became governor and the news hit the headlines in India."

"She is a star back home and we love her for her achievements and in many ways she epitomises the achievements of the Indian American community in this country -- all that they've done to make America proud and to make India proud," she said.

Rao said that during the past two days, "I've been to Charleston and I've been here in Columbia and had discussions with Governor Haley and her team and we looked at the ways to cement better relations between India and South Carolina."

The envoy spoke of the "immense possibilities because this is really in many senses a time of awakening when it comes to India-US relations. We have a strategic partnership, which has many, many pillars to it that in fact encompasses almost every field of human endeavour."


Image: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is introduced by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley during a campaign stop at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire
Photographs: Reuters

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'Indo-US strategic partnership is making difference to people of both'

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Rao said that this Indo-US strategic partnership "is making a difference to the lives of people in your country and in my country."

"We need to build better infrastructure, we need more energy, we need education, and we need to develop the facilities for education. Young men and women need to come into the mainstream -- they need to be working to make India more prosperous and great and indeed to better their own lives," she said,

Thus, echoing the sentiments of Haley, the ambassador said, "I can't think of a better way for India and America to come closer together than to help people in both countries. And that is what Governor Haley, I know, is committed to and that is what we in India are committed to.


Image: Indian ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Haley , India , Rao , America

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