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India Mission Debrief

Annapolis, MD

 India Mission Press Debriefing

Namaste, and good morning. Thank you for joining us.

Today we have with us Steve Morrison from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Steve thank you for being with us and being on our trip. Delegate Miller and Delegate Arora are both here. And Kumar Barve, as he will tell you, we have the largest, biggest, baddest, Indian American delegation of any state in America as we repeated on our mission about 4,000 times.

We’re also joined by representatives from many of the businesses that participated in the trade mission – we’ll hear their stories in about two seconds.

We also had a great team of higher education, including Wallace Loh, head of the University of Maryland at College Park. We had Dr. Pollard, the head at Montgomery College, and also Dr. Wilson, the head of Morgan State University. We had representatives from UMBC, from the Washington DC-part of Maryland at George Washington University, and others.

But joining us here at the table is Vice President for Research Dr. Pat O’Shea, as well as Dr. Sanjay Rai, the Vice President and Provost from the Montgomery College Germantown Campus.

As you know, a week ago, we came back from a very productive trip. It was the largest economic development mission ever brought by any state in the United States to India. We hadn’t planned for it to turn out that way but the number of contacts that were preexisting this trip, that were already going on with Maryland companies and their Indian partners led this to being the largest trip that any delegation had ever done according to our State Department.

We had more than 100 Marylanders with us on the trip, including leaders in business, universities and community colleges, and leaders in government, and as I said, two county executives and the largest Indian American delegation in the United States.

We believe, as President Obama said, that the relationship between the people of the United States and the people of India can and should be the defining relationship of our times. India is the world’s largest democracy, and I think a few months ago they became the world’s largest English-speaking democracy as well.

We had three goals for our trip: to strengthen our relationship with our neighbors in India; to promote Maryland as an ideal location for Indian companies looking to do business not only in Maryland but also to expand to the market that is the United States; and also to boost trade and investment between India and Maryland so that we together can create more jobs and more opportunity here at home.

Over the course of our trip, together with our delegation, we signed nearly $60 million in business deals for our State – and there are several additional deals worth millions more that we’re still working on and that are still coming in.

One of them that we announced is a $3 million deal that we have found out has since grown since we returned.

We recruited two Indian businesses to invest in our State.

One is Jasco Nutri Foods, an India-based manufacturer and exporter of organic foods, that has agreed to invest $10 million to open a new facility in Maryland. The plans for the location will be finalized over the next two months, but we expect the new facility to generate up to 100 jobs when it’s up and fully operational.

The other one is Jubilant Life Sciences, one of India’s top pharmaceutical and life sciences companies with a facility in Salisbury, also announced plans to invest an additional $20 million to triple its warehouse space on the Eastern Shore and to add new jobs. This is a great story, one that our Economic Development Secretary and I only, really, became aware of my going to India. It was a company in Salisbury with about $2.5 million in revenue that was purchased by Jubilant, a large Indian company and quickly their business flow went from $2.5 million to $40 million, and they expect it to go to $90 in the next couple of years, and they’re very pleased with their location there in Salisbury, Maryland.

Eight Maryland businesses signed deals with Indian partners, including Baltimore-based Premier Rides, which signed a $7 million deal to create a custom theme park attraction for a new park in India. CyberPoint International, one of our emerging cyber-security companies located in Baltimore, signed a $10 million deal with an Indian company to develop new security solutions for mobile devices.

I also had the opportunity to pitch Maryland to two of India’s largest and oldest business organizations. And we met with two states in India – one being Andhra Pradesh and the other being the State of Maharashtra, to explore Sister State relationships. We’ve signed what we call ‘memoranda of intent’ to move to official condoned Sister State relationships, which is a new opening for us over there. But the chief ministers of both of those states – what is our equivalent of governors – were very kind, very hospitable, very generous, laid out a tremendous reception and dinner for us, and both of them spent a considerable amount of time with us.

Another, on the measure of scale: our State of five an a half million is looking to be the sister – albeit the little sister – of Andhra Pradesh, which has 85 million people in it.

So to help promote partnerships with our world-class biotech industry, we toured as a delegation and cut several ribbons at the largest bio-pharmaceutical trade show in India. And we had the opportunity to also see, and I delivered the keynote remarks, for the first meeting of Women in Bio chapter in India – a dynamic, strong and powerful organization that created here in Maryland around such greats as Dr. Claire Frasier-Leggett and others. Dr. Jallal who traveled with us from MedImmune, is also a founding member of Women in Bio in Maryland, and now we have our first international chapter, and that’s in India.

We also signed an agreement to create an India-Maryland Center in Maryland to help us keep building on our work to strengthen our ties with India. If we already had a Center, they would be busy inputting about three-thousand business cards that make the stack this big that I brought back from the strained pockets of the three suits I rotated. And we’re also looking forward to hosting a delegation from one of the business groups we spoke to – FICCI – which is a business group pulled together by Mahatma Gandhi back in the day, which stands for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who will come to visit Maryland in April.

So with that, let’s begin questions.

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