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O’Malley Administration Outlines India Trip

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — More than 100 business leaders, educators and state officials will join Gov. Martin O’Malley’s trade mission to India, a trip the administration is touting as the largest in Maryland’s history and the first by a sitting Maryland governor.

Representatives from 43 businesses will accompany O’Malley and his wife on the six-day trip, which will include stops in
Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. The goal is to raise awareness in India about economic opportunities for companies to pursue in Maryland, develop export opportunities and expand educational ties.

“This is a chance for the governor, again, to increase the awareness of Maryland among the senior corporate, government officials, leaders, in that country to encourage foreign direct investment,” said Robert Walker, assistant secretary of the state’s division of business and enterprise development, which is part of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The group is scheduled to arrive in India on Nov. 28 and return Dec. 4. Maryland first lady Katie O’Malley, a Baltimore judge, will be visiting with court officials in hopes of creating a judicial partnership.

Walker said the company representatives will pay their own way.

Delegates Kumar Barve, D-Montgomery, Sam Arora, D-Montgomery, and Aruna Miller, D-Montgomery, are joining and will pay their own way.

Walker said the expense to the state has not yet been calculated.

“We can’t give you the cost now because we’re still finalizing cost for certain aspects of the mission,” Walker said.

Others expected to go on the trip are Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and University of Maryland President Wallace Loh.

O’Malley, a Democrat, will be promoting Maryland as an ideal location for businesses looking to have a U.S. presence, especially companies in the life sciences, cyber-security and information technology, and aerospace and defense industries.

O’Malley is scheduled to meet with several companies to discuss potential investment and projects in Maryland. The governor also is set to address three of India’s largest business organizations, including the Confederation of Indian Industries, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the All India Biotech Association.

The governor will also sign two sister state agreements between Maryland and India.

It will be O’Malley’s second trade mission as governor. He went to China, South Korea and Vietnam in June.

About 105,000 Maryland residents, or 3.5 percent of the state’s workforce, are employed by foreign-owned firms.

Companies headquartered in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany are the state’s top three foreign employers.

India was chosen for the trade mission in part because it’s expected to have the world’s third-largest economy in the coming decade, along with a rapidly expanding middle class seeking goods and services.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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