Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Montgomery to explore trade opportunities in India

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African nations aren’t the only ones being targeted by Montgomery County business officials.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and the Department of Economic Development plan to lead a delegation of public and private leaders on a trade mission to India Nov. 9-17.

India is experiencing tremendous economic growth, especially in sectors of importance to the county, such as biotechnology, said Corinne Rothblum, a business development specialist for the county who is coordinating the mission. She said it was the first trip to India organized by the county of which she is aware.

The idea grew out of Montgomery College’s ties with Haryana, India, and the county’s growing Asian-American business community, Rothblum said. Montgomery College, which signed an agreement with Haryana officials last year for an exchange program, is also involved with the mission, she said.

Pradeep Ganguly, director of the county’s economic development agency, attended a trade mission to Haryana earlier this year organized by the college. Ganguly is of Indian descent and attended graduate school in Delhi.

Exports from Maryland companies to India increased by 21 percent to $34.8 million during the first quarter of 2007 from a year ago, according to federal figures.

Other groups participating in the mission include the Tech Council of Maryland, University of Maryland University College’s Graduate School of Management and Technology, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, one of the largest industry organizations in India.

This report originally appeared in The Business Gazette.

To learn more

Montgomery County economic development officials will conduct a meeting for companies interested in participating in the India trade mission from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 7. The location will be determined based on how many people express interest.

Reservations for the meeting should be made with Corinne Rothblum by Aug. 1 at 240-777-2011 or by sending an e-mail to corinne.rothblum@montgomerycountymd.gov.