India offers big business opportunities to US firms: Shankar

India offers big business opportunities to US firms: Shankar

Addressing the prestigious Economic Club of Minnesota on 'India's Growth Story - Potential for Partnership', Shankar said: "India's growing economy and infrastructure needs are creating big business opportunities for Minnesota companies and scores of other US firms."

"We are looking to improve our infrastructure [and] to improve agricultural production," she said addressing some top 250 top corporate leaders of this Mid-Western State at the Economic Club of Minnesota at the Minneapolis Club.

Noting that India's infrastructure needs could top USD 1 trillion over the next decade, the Ambassador said: "We would hope the US and companies in Minnesota would be active in this sector."

India's infrastructure needs include airports, roads and energy generation, including wind turbines and other green technology, she said.

Shankar also met the Chief Executives of Cargill, Target and Meditronics.

The discussions with these companies revolved around economic cooperation, their operations in India and the potential for deepening the mutually beneficial relationship.
The three-day Minnesota trip of Shankar marked the first visit by the top Indian diplomat to Minneapolis after the Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, lead a State Trade delegation to India in 2007.

Shankar had fruitful discussions with Pawlenty on matters of mutual interest, including trade between the State of Minnesota and India.

The Governor and the First Lady Mary Pawlenty hosted the Ambassador for a reception at their residence, where she interacted with a select group of prominent Minnesotans including State Senators / Congressmen, Civil Servants, Businessmen and Indian community.

"We are very pleased that Ambassador Shankar chose to speak to the Economic Club during her first visit to Minnesota," said Tim Penny, co-founder of the Economic Club.
"Minnesota companies exported USD 146 million in goods to India in 2009, making India the 20th largest export market for goods manufactured in Minnesota. We look forward to continuing to build that partnership," Penny said.

Shankar also launched the Women's Chamber of Commerce of the India Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota along with Margaret Kelliher, Speaker of the State of Minnesota and Elizabeth Kautz, Mayor of the city of Burnsville.

She visited the University of Minnesota and discussed issues pertaining to higher education with the President of the University Robert Bruininks and later addressed a gathering of the University guests on the topic of Knowledge Partnership between India and the United States.

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