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Franklin County Commissioners Hold Administrative Session to Discuss Business Development Mission to

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Contact: Hanna Greer, 525-5848
Brittany A. Thompson, 525-3354

Today, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners held an administrative session to discuss the possible outcomes and follow-up from the recent Columbus Region Business Development Mission to India, led by Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady and Columbus 2020.

The purpose of the February mission was to establish business relationships that can lead to direct investment and trade with companies based in the Columbus region and Franklin County. The trip focused on the following sectors: advanced manufacturing, information technologies, biosciences and advanced energy systems.

The 15 person delegation represented a cross-section of the Columbus Region’s leading industries, including financial services, information technology, legal and education and included stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and the Columbus Sister City, Ahmedabad.

During the administrative session Commissioner O’Grady and trip attendees shared with the Board of Commissioners and County administration information on the 42 meetings conducted with Indian businesses and organizations on behalf of Franklin County and the Columbus region.

Initial follow-up has been completed to all companies and organizations met with during the 10- day mission, and one Indian company has already completed a follow-up trip to Columbus since the delegation returned. An additional eight Indian companies and two delegations have expressed interest in visiting the Columbus region in the next year for further investigation of foreign direct investment and partnerships.

“Franklin County has been actively engaged in promoting international economic development for years,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Trips like the India Business Development mission are opportunities for our region to introduce central Ohio as a great place for businesses to locate and to strengthen international partnerships.”

“We have a thriving Asian Indian community in Central Ohio consisting of many families and business leaders who have already created hundreds of jobs here. India remains a vital market for Central Ohio companies. Increasing these trade and investment ties is necessary for driving job creation in order to compete in the global economy,” said Commissioner Brooks.

“Franklin County businesses must be effective and efficient about their investments, but we as a region, need a long-term view of what success will look like in Central Ohio; including our emerging Alternative Energy Industry and our Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Services,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “As we all know, International Development takes time. We will continue to work throughout the year to reap the benefits of this mission.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Indian-U.S. trade tops $63.63 billion a year and “India’s GDP, growing at 6.7 percent (for 2008-09), makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the second fastest in Asia. It also ranks second in global foreign direct investments and is a top destination for international investors, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD).

India also makes significant investment in the U.S. In fact, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) indicates that Indian companies’ investments in the U.S. between 2004 and 2009 amounted to approximately $5.5 billion. Metals, information technology, media and entertainment, industrial machinery, equipment and tools, and financial services were the sectors that received the greatest amount of investments.

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