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Two Great Democracies Seek Stronger Ties

Philip Fritsche

Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce

For a number of years the United States and India have been proactively seeking stronger relations and improved partnerships, beginning at the federal level. This has lead to White House State Dinners and many diplomatic receptions and engagements at the highest levels.
India, the largest democracy on Earth by population, has been a stable and dependable ally in the far east. It also represents great opportunity for American business with a population of over 1 billion people, roughly 17.5% of the entire human race. In 2013 alone there were around 90,000 collaborative start up partnerships between Indian companies and one or more foreign companies, not necessarily all US partners. India is considered to have one of the largest economies by market exchange rates, as it is worth around $1.758 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund.
The population of India is young with nearly half the population under 21. All socio-economic studies in recent years point to the young and growing electorate wanting to continue to move India in the direction of a completely free market capitalist system. The economic system of India is constitutionally defined as socialist, but has been moving towards a free, capitalist society. The US is currently the 2nd largest importer of Indian goods and services, at $29 billion annually, but falls to 4th largest exporter of US goods to India at around $17 billion annually. Two of the nations ahead of the US in exporting to India are Middle Eastern nations whose trade balance with India revolves around purchase of crude oil, which India is dependent on to fuel commerce.
In the last year the regional Consul Generals – the official representatives of the Indian government outside of their Embassy in Washington, D.C. – have been meeting with elected officials and business representatives in the US states where they serve as the official contact of the Indian government. This includes Wisconsin, where Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India for the US Midwest, held a series of meetings a couple of months ago that included Governor Scott Walker, members of the Governor’s Cabinet, State elected officials and the WMC and local chamber leaders.
Dr. Sayeed outlined the priorities of the Indian government in a goodwill gesture to open discussions on how Wisconsin organizations, businesses and government can work with their Indian counterparts to the mutual benefit of both the United States and India. He shared with the chamber of commerce representatives that the upcoming elections in India are going to be greatly affected by the youth vote, and that there is great anticipation that reforms of all kinds, including economic, will be hallmarks of a new administration. This sets the stage for new partnerships, new ventures and great possibilities for not only Wisconsin businesses, but all US businesses that wish to engage in the Indian market.
Priorities outlined by the Indian Consul General for India:

  • Engage new systems and explore nontraditional ways to educate the growing youth population
  • Increase the annual yield of Indian agriculture and develop new uses for agricultural products
  • Build additional infrastructure for healthcare across the nation and develop sustainable methods of continuing to cover the costs for this investment in the Indian people
  • Develop alternative energy sources to decrease the nation’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil
  • Build additional municipal infrastructure across the nation including sewage treatment facilities; potable fresh water systems; roadways and more

If your organization sees an opportunity, a chance to partner or collaborate with Indian organizations, contact the Consulate General of India – Midwest USA office in Chicago, Illinois:
Consulate General of India
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Ste. # 850
Chicago, Illinois 60611




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