Meetings in New Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet will participate in a five-member congressional delegation on a visit to India between Jan. 8 and Jan. 14. The delegation will meet with top government and business leaders in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, with a focus on exploring opportunities to expand economic markets and opportunities as well as strengthen business, trade, defense and cultural relationships between the two countries.
Bennet, who was born in India, is a member of the Senate’s India Caucus.
Trade between India and Colorado reached $800 million in 2010, an increase of nearly 50 percent over the previous year. India is now Colorado’s 18th largest buyer of merchandise and its 7th largest supplier.
“Colorado’s competitive tax structure, which rewards investment and innovation, location just 346 miles from the geographic center of the United States, highly-educated workforce, and high concentration of technology and technology assets make it an ideal location for businesses looking to expand in the United States,” Bennet said. “In addition, Colorado already has several successful companies expanding and growing their market in India.”
Major Colorado exports to India include telecommunications technology, clean energy technologies, including solar cells, and construction materials and machinery. Companies including High Country Maritime, a freight-forwarding business in Denver, and Leprino Foods Company, also headquarted in Denver, have successfully sold into India’s market. Abound Solar, Colorado’s largest homegrown clean tech employer, which is headquartered in Loveland, with a production facility in Longmont and an R&D facility in Ft. Collins, has also launched ventures in India. Its operations include exports of thin-film solar photovoltaic modules for the construction of a five-megawatt (MW) solar project in India.
In addition to Bennet, the delegation will include U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (VA) and Tom Udall (NM) and Reps. Joseph Crowley (NY) and Cedric Richmond (LA).
Highlights of the trip will include a visit to a National Basketball Association-sponsored camp for young people in New Delhi, keynote events at the Confederation of Indian Industries Partnership Summit in Hyderabad, and the first Congressional visit to the state of West Bengal since the Communist Party was defeated after 34 years of party rule. Bennet will also visit several Frito Lay social responsibility projects around its factories premises in West Bengal, including micro-business training. Last year, Bennet introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the way the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administers microfinance assistance.
The delegation also will learn more about education, child health, food safety and water purification efforts in the poorer regions of India. In addition, the delegation will conduct dozens of meetings with leading executives of India’s security, energy, and IT industries to explore investment opportunities between the two nations.
There are approximately 10,752 people living in Colorado who were born in India.
Chennai, a city on India’s east coast, has been sister cities with Denver since 1984 and is the namesake of Chennai Park in Denver.