Governor Martin O'Malley and First Lady Katie O'Malley today kicked off an historic trade mission to India, arriving earlier today in Hyderabad with a delegation of more than 100 Maryland business leaders, educators and elected officials -- the largest-ever trade mission delegation from Maryland. Governor O'Malley and the delegation will spend two days in Hyderabad, then travel to Mumbai and New Delhi to boost two-way trade and investment and promote Maryland as an ideal location for Indian companies looking to establish U.S. operations, particularly in life sciences, technology and aerospace and defense. The six-day mission will wrap up with a visit to the Taj Mahal. Governor O'Malley is the first sitting Governor from Maryland to lead a trade mission to India.
"While Maryland and India have a long history of trade, this mission will help open new doors for investment, for both Maryland businesses looking to enter or expand in Indian markets, and for Indian companies looking to enter U.S. markets by locating in Maryland," said Governor O'Malley. "We are pleased to promote our State as the gateway to doing business in the U.S. and to seek opportunities to partner in our innovation and technology sectors."
As part of today's events, Governor O'Malley joined Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy to discuss their intentions to sign the first Sister State agreement between Maryland and India. Andhra Pradesh is India's fourth largest state and the country's center for information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. An agreement would strengthen India's partnership with Maryland and commit the two regions to working together on matters of business and industry, culture and arts, and education and health.
The Governor also witnessed signings between four Maryland businesses and their Indian partners. ANGARAI, a Greenbelt-based management consulting firm specializing in project management, oversight and business transformation solutions and one of Prince George's County's fastest growing small businesses, signed an agreement with CI , a technology product development company based in Chennai, to pursue opportunities in mobile and web applications, potentially opening up an office in Maryland. The second signing was between Rockville-based Sheladia Associates, an engineering, architecture and development company and two Indian firms -- M/S Sai Matarani Toll Ways Ltd. and Gayatri Projects Ltd. Sheladia will provide design and project management services valued at $3.7 million for upgrading the Panikoili -- Rimouli Section of National Highway 215 to a 4 Lane facility in the State of Orissa. A third signing involved an MOU between Maryland-based DataNet Systems Corp. in and RT-MediBus Technologies and the Health Management and Research Institute in Hyderabad to create MediHelp, a 24-hour/seven day a week health care helpline that can help screen minor ailments and illnesses and reduce the overall cost of public healthcare. The call center would be located in Prince George's County. In addition, Amarex, a Germantown-based clinical research organization, signed an agreement with Gaithersburg's Shreis Scalene Sciences LLC to gain FDA approval for the medical device Cytotron, which uses a patented technology to treat regenerative and degenerative diseases such as cancer, osteoarthritis and multiple sclerosis. The device was invented and developed by Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar, Chairman of Scalene Cybernetics in Bangalore, a technology and equity partner of Shreis Scalene Sciences.
"It is an honor to represent the residents and businesses of Prince George's County, Maryland on Governor O'Malley's trade mission to India," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. "I am here alongside our County's economic development experts and 12 County businesses to extend our collective hand to the Indian business community. We see this as a unique opportunity to promote Prince George's County, Maryland as a ready business partner, a source of investment opportunities, and a gateway to the State of Maryland and our neighbor, Washington D.C."
"This trip represents a continuation of Montgomery County's reaching out in the global economy," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "Our emphasis remains on the cutting edge of biotechnology and the life sciences in terms of attracting investment, business, and good jobs."
"With the signing of the MOU with CI, ANGARAI has a great opportunity to make significant leap in the Project Management, Oversight & Business Transformation solutions that we offer by leveraging technology expertise and bandwidth that CI provides," said Venkat Subramanian, President and CEO, ANGARAI. "This will bring significant value to our customers and would tremendous help in bringing efficiency and effectiveness to their processes. Further, it will help us to grow thus creating more job opportunities, development and growth for our country and Maryland and Prince George's County in particular."
Earlier today, Governor O'Malley also gave a keynote address at a meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industries, one of India's oldest and largest business groups with a direct membership of more than 8,100 organizations from the private as well as public sectors, and an indirect membership of over 90,000 companies from around 400 national and regional associations. The First Lady met with the advocate general for Andhra Pradesh to discuss the possibility of establishing a Rule of Law partnership with Maryland.
In 2010, India was Maryland's 12th largest export market with $233 million in goods and services, and was the State's 13th largest import market, with more than $465 million. As of September, Maryland exports to India were valued at over $192 million, representing an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2010. In the first nine months of this year, the Port of Baltimore saw $341 million in trade to and from India compared with $229 million from the same time frame in 2010 -- a 49 percent increase.
In addition to Maryland's trade office in India, which opened in 2009, the State also recently opened foreign offices in Russia and Colombia to attract foreign-owned companies to Maryland and encourage trade opportunities. The offices, which are opened on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to taxpayers, are part of the State's network of foreign offices which also include China (Shanghai), France (Paris), Israel (Haifa), South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and the Western Balkans (Montenegro).
Maryland's Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. For more information on resources available to business that want to market their products or services globally, visit www.choosemaryland.org