County Leaders, Local Businesses Gear Up for Trip to India (Video)

Last year was China, this year is India.

Leaders from the County government are getting ready for this year’s international trip to establish connections abroad.

MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has the story of how local businesses are getting involved:

They all came to the table with different backgrounds, but a similar goal – to learn more about how they can partner with businesses in India through a special trip with the County Executive this fall.

“I am here because I started a business importing organic coffee from India and I’m interested in helping the small farmers in India,” said Aravind Pamula, a managing partner with Futuralis Imports. “A lot of these farmers don’t really have a way to sell their products even in India.”

“We had a group of student consultants working this past semester looking at India and potential market opportunities as a precursor to some of this work and they identified a few opportunities potentially through occupational therapist markets and potentially through some private school chains over there,” said Valerie Mahar, an International Business Consultant with Handwriting Without Tears.

Building off of Governor Martin O’Malley’s trade and investment mission to India in 2011, those organizing the trip say it will highlight export and partnership opportunities for Montgomery County companies.

“Anyone who wants to export to India or they want to find a partner in India for licensing or for manufacturing or for resource and development, they can do that through this trip, that’s what we’ll help them find,” said Vinod Jain, president of the India-US World Affairs Institute.

“Our department’s particular interest is having businesses here have opportunities to do work and business in India and try to encourage companies that are in India to establish locations right here in Montgomery County,” said Steve Silverman, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.

But it isn’t just about business. Some leaders are going to strengthen cultural connections as well.

“We want to be the most welcoming community in all of America and that means we need to understand better the countries and cultures where the people came from who have come to Montgomery County,” said Bruce Adams, Director of the County’s Office of Community Partnerships. “So we started a Sister City program, we have a sister City in El Salvador, we have one in Ethiopia, we have one in China, India obviously is a huge part of our immigrant population we want to make sure that we’re in India,” he said.

The trip is scheduled for November 13 through 22. More information can be found on the County’s website here.

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Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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