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Sen. Warner to Lead Congressional Delegation to India Jan. 7-14

~ Events in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata ~

Jan 05 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), co-chair of the Senate’s India Caucus, will lead a five-member congressional delegation on a visit to India between Sat., Jan. 7 and Sat., Jan. 14. The delegation will meet with top government and business leaders in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, exploring opportunities to expand business, trade, defense and cultural relationships between the two countries. 

In addition to Sen. Warner, the delegation will include U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (CO), Tom Udall (NM) and Reps. Joseph Crowley (NY) and Cedric Richmond (LA). Rep. Crowley is co-chair of the House India Caucus. 

Highlights of the trip will include a visit to a National Basketball Association-sponsored camp and exhibition game for young people in New Delhi, and the signing of a new partnership agreement between the Virginia Community College System and the Wadhwani Foundation, a leading nonprofit foundation, to expand the training curriculum for skilled trades within India. The delegation also will attend the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Partnership Summit in Hyderabad,  and the congressional delegation will be the first to visit the state of West Bengal since the Communist Party was defeated after 34 years of party rule there. During the week, the delegation also will learn more about education, child health, food safety and water purification efforts across the poorer regions of India. In addition, Senator Warner and his colleagues have scheduled meetings with top government officials and leading executives of India’s security, energy, biotech and IT industries to explore export and investment opportunities between the two nations.  

“The United States and India share a common democracy, a common language and a broad understanding of business,” Sen. Warner said. “I believe we have reached a point where it is time for the U.S.-India relationship to advance from a longtime friendship to a full partnership, and I look forward to identifying and pursuing additional opportunities for our two nations to work more closely together.”

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, India's current high-growth rate will result in a major economic transformation over the next two decades. Income levels are forecast to almost triple, and India will climb from its position today as the twelfth-largest consumer market to become the world's fifth-largest consumer market by 2025. At the same time, India’s middle class is forecast to expand  by more than ten times from its current size of 50 million people to more than 580 million people.

According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia exports to India in 2010 were valued at about $294 million – up from $284 million in 2009 and $190 million in 2008. In April 2005, then-Governor Warner became the first Virginia Governor ever to travel to India, and led the largest-ever state trade delegation to visit the country.  During the 2005 trade mission, Lynchburg-based American Hofmann announced a maintenance contract with Indian Airlines, Sterling Gelatin announced it would locate a distribution facility in Prince George County, and Essel Propack announced a $15 million investment to expand its laminated tube business in Danville.