Remarks of SELECTUSA Executive Director Ambassador Thummalapally at Indo-American Chamber Of Commerce Networking Event

COIMBATORE: Thank you.  Tamil Nadu is home to storied textile companies, and we are starting to see new chapters being added to those stories.  Each time we interact with companies from here, it just reinforces our point that the U.S. is an important strategic market in ways that many would never consider.  I have been telling my colleagues for months how I want to meet with Tamil Nadu companies and hear more of these stories.

India is a priority for SelectUSA, and it’s easy to see why.  I probably don’t need to tell you that India is among the fastest-growing sources of foreign direct investment in the United States, with $11 billion of historical investment, and counting. Indian firms employed over 45,000 workers in the United States, as of 2011. That same year, these firms exported more than $1.9 billion worth of goods from the United States.

India is very important to SelectUSA, as it is to our parent agency ITA (International Trade Administration), and the U.S. Department of Commerce. This marks the third SelectUSA visit to India in the last few months, and is just one small part of the long-standing relationship between India and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

SelectUSA’s mission is to promote business investment in the United States. We offer companies like you information, data analysis, ombudsman services, and tools to connect with state and local economic development organizations across the United States. Our Commercial Services offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Hyderabad stand ready to help Indian investors better understand the U.S. business environment.

In Washington, we work with Indian investors over email, over the phone, and in person. From entrepreneurs to some of the biggest Indian multinationals expanding their U.S. presence, we focus every day on giving investors the assistance they require, and connect them with the states and cities that stand ready to welcome their business.

SelectUSA wants to help Indian companies succeed in the United States.  Why?  Because we know these companies create good jobs in both countries.  An Indian company that is successful in the United States employs more Americans, but it also can employ more people here at home.

First, I’d like to acknowledge Mr. Ramkumar from SG Mills, who will talk about his company’s decision to expand to the U.S., and his interactions with our commercial service officers. I can tell you that when we found out about this success back in DC, we were very excited. I’m very happy to meet him in person today.

Maqdoom Brothers, a clothing designer and manufacturer based in my hometown of Hyderabad, has been around for over 100 years.  A company representative attended a SelectUSA roundtable in Hyderabad, and came to our Investment Summit in Washington last October.  After meeting with representatives from the state of Illinois, the company decided last month to open an office in Joliet, not far from Chicago.  They tell us that this is their first step to a much larger manufacturing investment in the United States.

But, there’s more that we can do to assist Indian investors, and I’m excited that we took a big step forward in July.

During my last trip to Mumbai, I signed a memorandum of intent with Mr. Mathur of Export-Import Bank of India.  Both of our institutions have a shared mission of helping India’s small and medium businesses expand outside India’s borders.  The Bank has some great programs for Indian companies and individuals seeking financial assistance for overseas expansion.

When one of my investment specialists visited Export-Import Bank of India prior to the signing, Mr. Mathur insisted that this document not be an empty piece of paper.  SelectUSA feels just as strongly about our collaboration, which is why we are already holding our first joint investor’s roundtable tomorrow.  This might break the world record for fastest intergovernmental bureaucratic collaboration!

We are very excited to plan the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit on March 23-24 at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The two-day event is poised to attract investors from around the world to engage with U.S. policymakers and state and local officials to discuss a wide range of topics about the U.S. investment climate.

Our first Summit, which was hosted by President Obama last October, brought together more than 1300 people from 60 countries and nearly every U.S. state.  We had an incredible turnout from India – one of the largest delegations.

Last year, we sold out – we actually had to turn people away.  Our next Summit will be almost double the size, with enhanced opportunities for matchmaking, learning, and finding the information you need to move your investments forward.

My colleagues at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates across India will begin their recruitment efforts in late fall. I encourage you to sign up for updates and learn more about the event. I hope to see you there!

We are energized by your interest in the U.S. market, and we believe the United States can offer you unparalleled opportunities for growth and success.  As you explore the United States, please consider our team—here at the Embassy and consulates, as well as in the United States—to be at your service.

Thank you for coming – we look forward to working with you.