February 22, 2013

CII drives state-engagement agenda for Indian companies in the US

Welcomes US state governors to engage with Indian companies

Washington DC: Recently, the CII–India Business Forum had organised an event for directly engaging with governors and key economic development offices from the states.

The purpose of this first-of-a-kind reception, themed ‘Indian Roots, American Soil: Supporting State Economies’, and sponsored by the Tata group, was to highlight the contributions of Indian companies across the United States.

The event showcased Indian FDI flows to the US, job creation and investments by Indian companies in the US as well as their local community engagements at the state-level. The platform also presented an opportunity for companies and state officials to connect regarding future corporate expansion goals and strategies.

The Indian companies represented at the reception are located across 40 states in the US and Washington DC. They operate in diverse sectors, such as education, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, and telecommunications. The majority of the companies has increased employee count in recent years and created new jobs, reflecting the resilience of their operations and hiring efforts even during the economic slowdown. Many saved thousands of jobs through mergers and acquisitions. Trends indicate that their research and development activities are on the upswing, as are their corporate social responsibility initiatives.

This event marks their contributions in this area since a CII report titled ‘Indian Roots, American Soil’ came out last year, in which it was noted that these companies had invested more than $820 million in US-based facilities, had collectively conducted 72 mergers and acquisitions in the US since 2005 and had projected research and development investments estimated to be over $190 million in 2012 alone.

Jack Markell, governor of Delaware and chairman of the National Governors Association, and Terry Branstad, governor of Iowa, were the honorary co-chairs of the reception. Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, Mike Beebe, governor of Arkansas, Dannel Malloy, governor of Connecticut, Patrick McCrory, governor of North Carolina, Margaret Hassan, governor of New Hampshire, Gary Herbert, governor of Utah, and Matt Mead, governor of Wyoming, also participated in the program.

Governors from both the major parties acknowledged the value Indian companies bring to their respective states. The event also saw participation from US government officials, US corporate members, US academics and the think tank community.

Nirupama Rao, Indian ambassador to the United States, also graced the occasion. She said, “Job creation and investments by Indian companies are a very real component of the US-India trade and commercial relationship. Indian companies operating in the US are adding tremendous value to the local economies in which they operate, the most tangible effects of which are felt at the state and county level. Engagement at the state level is very much on the bilateral economic agenda of both governments and efforts like the CII event go a long way in strengthening these linkages.”

“Indian businesses have increased their investments in the US in recent years, a key factor in my decision to lead a trade mission to India earlier this month,” said governor Jack Markell of Delaware. “As the fastest-growing market for US exports, India provides significant opportunities to increase U.S. job growth. As governors, we have a unique opportunity to build strong partnerships between our countries that can bring economic opportunity to the US workforce.”

Sandhya Satwadi, director and head, CII North America, explained, “This is the first time that the CII–India Business Forum is directly engaging with governors and key economic development offices from the states. By enhancing state-level interactions, we can truly have an impact in encouraging greater investments in states as well as facilitating better business climates and incentives for our companies. We hope to see more two-way traffic in state-level delegations in the coming years.”