INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Greg Ballard and a delegation of local leaders recently departed on a week-long economic and cultural trade mission to promote Indianapolis, strengthen relationships, and explore economic opportunities in India.
The trade mission is rescheduled from a previously planned trade mission in February that was postponed.
"As the world's second fastest growing economy, India presents significant opportunities for our city," Ballard said in a statement. "Every aspect of this trip has been planned to help us leverage our relationships with top business leaders and government officials in a continued effort to strengthen our ties with India and broaden business opportunities for Indianapolis-based companies."
Ballard, with support of the Indy Chamber and the Hyderabad Sister City Committee, will travel through April 18 to the cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi. The mission will focus on information technology, life sciences, and research organizations and strengthening cultural relationships. The trip is being funded privately through the Indy Chamber.
India is the 13th largest trading partner and the 17th largest import market of the United States. With moderate inflation of 7.6 percent in 2012, a growing middle class and a relatively stable political environment, India remains attractive to many U.S. companies, including many Indianapolis-based companies.
The delegation arrived in Hyderabad, India on Sunday. The delegation toured the RGI Cricket Stadium, home of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. For the evening's events, they joined the 25th Joint Meeting of the World Tourism Organization, (UNWTO) Commissions for East Asia & the Pacific and South Asia. UNWTO is a United Nations agency that promotes tourism as an economic growth driver.
On Monday the day began with a breakfast meeting by the American Chamber of Commerce in India featuring special guest, Consul General Dhanani. Then the delegation met with Chief Minister Sri Kiran Kumar Reddy of Andrhra Pradesh. That afternoon the delegation met with Mayor Wajid Hussain of Hyderabad. The day concluded with dinner with Former Mayor of Hyderabad, Mrs. Karthika Reddy Banda. Ballard and Mayor Reddy formed the IndianapolisÐHyderabad Sister City Partnership in 2010.
Today the delegation will meet with companies from the information technology and pharmaceutical industries in India before departing to New Delhi to prepare for the Clean Energy Ministerial.
On Wednesday Ballard will attend the Clean Energy Ministerial. More than 20 of the world's leading economies will be present for this event. Ballard was formally invited to speak at a public-private roundtable about accelerating the global adoption of clean vehicles. This concludes the official agenda of the trip as the delegation departs New Delhi that night.
Ballard is joined by a delegation of business leaders representing Indianapolis' key sectors. Members of the delegation include: First Lady Winnie Ballard, city of Indianapolis; Amber Ross, senior project director, Indy Chamber; Jane Gehlhausen, director of international and cultural affairs, city of Indianapolis; Raju Chinthala, president, Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee; Vinod Sadhu, CIO/Enterprise Architect, ISTA Inc.; Chowdry Pinnamaneni, physician, St. Vincent Hospital; and Gregory Hancock, director, Gregory Hancock Dance Theater.