Texas Governor Greg Abbott met with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi, March 28. During the meeting, Governor Abbott thanked the Prime Minister for his hospitality and spoke on the importance of continuing to grow Texas-India relations both economically and culturally. This marks the first time the Prime Minister has met with a United States Governor, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“Texas is continuing to grow relations with India both economically & culturally. A productive meeting today in New Delhi with Prime Minister @narendramodi,” Gov. Abbott tweeted a few hours after the meeting. According to the Governor’s office, Texas is 2nd among all U.S. states for exports to India with exports valued at nearly $3.4 billion in 2017.
“I am extremely grateful to Prime Minister Modi for welcoming me to his country and for the opportunity to discuss the meaningful relationship between Texas and India,” Abbott is quoted saying in the release. “While Texas and India have long maintained an important economic relationship, this trip has also highlighted our commonly shared values of family, faith, community and hard work. These are the bonds that we will continue to build on, and I look forward to growing this partnership even more after this successful trip,” the Governor added.
The meeting which took place at the Prime Minister’s residence, lasted more than an hour. Among the topics the two leaders discussed were Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the Indian-American community in Texas, healthcare, defense, their respective economies, and energy. The The Governor talked about how productive his trip has been and the potential it will have in creating more jobs and investment for the people of Texas. The Governor and Prime Minister spoke on how they can continue to strengthen the strong bond between Texas and India and reaffirmed their commitment to continuing the successful partnership, the press release said.
The Governor also met with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu the same day. “Texas is working to establish a direct flight from Texas to India,” and the meeting was held to further that goal, the Governor’s Facebook page said. The two also discussed mutually beneficial trade.
On March 26, while in Mumbai, Gov. Abbott closed a deal with JSW Steel to expand its operations in Baytown, Texas, that the governor’s office said, will create 500 new jobs and expand economic growth in Texas.
“The Memorandum signed by Greg Abbott and JSW USA is part of our long term strategy to enhance our U.S. footprint,” Parth Jindal of JSW Group is quoted saying in a press release. “It reiterates our commitment to stay invested and grow in the U.S. market. It also provides JSW USA an opportunity to participate in USA’s infrastructure development and job creation priorities,” Jindal added. “Access to natural gas at extremely economical prices and the abundant availability of scrap steel in Texas make conditions very conducive for manufacturing through the Electric Arc Furnace route,” Jindal said.
Earlier, on March 25, Gov. Abbott addressed the Rotary Club of Bombay, touting the Texas economy and the importance of strengthening the bond between India and Texas.
Governor Abbott also emphasized the importance of trade with India, noting that Texas is the 2nd largest exporter to India in the U.S., and the 4th largest importer of Indian goods in the U.S., a press release from his office said.
“It’s not just the exchange of goods that connects the people of India and Texas,” Abbott is quoted saying at the Rotary meeting. “The values that we share are founded on family, faith, commitment to our communities, and hard work.”
Following his address, the Governor participated in a question and answer session with members of the Rotary Club of Bombay which is one of the oldest rotaries in India founded in 1929.
Dallas News, which accompanied the Governor and his delegation to India, reported Abbott has 15 Texans in his delegation, including “some Indian American businessmen who have flown to India at their own expense to accompany him for part of his nine-day jaunt.”
The governor also visited the headquarters of the multinational Mahindra & Mahindra in south Mumbai, where he praised the company and its operations in Texas. Mahindra North America. donated $1.5 million in cash and kind after the disastrous Hurricane Harvey last September, according to Dallas News. “That shows us that you’re more than just a business operating in Texas. You are a genuine part of our community,” the Governor is quoted saying in the Dallas News report. He also praised Indian immigrants in Texas, describing them as “very productive, very hard-working, very committed to the ideals that … underlie both America and the American dream,” the news report said.