“India is a spectacular country. Indian business environment continues to be strong and the country is going in a pro-business direction. I am excited about the many opportunities that have unfolded as India transforms into a vibrant economy. India can achieve greater success and faster growth if the country would reduce regulations and ensure consistency in rules and regulations and focus on trust building among businesses. India needs to ensure a clean business environment to attract more investments which will improve the investment predictability for Indian companies”, said Governor H. E. Mrs. Nikki Haley, Hon’ble Governor of South Carolina. Governor Haley was addressing a business meet on “Enhancing Trade and Investment Cooperation between South Carolina and Maharashtra”, hosted in her honour by World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries on 19th November, 2014 at World Trade Center Mumbai.

Recalling her recent meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi during his visit to the USA, Governor Haley recalled that “Make in India” campaign should be replicated for “Make in Maharashtra” and Governor Haley said that she also believed in “Make in South Carolina” and all these are achievable in our respective regions provided the policies are consistent and that concessions and assurances should be adhered to.Sharing her optimism on the business environment in India and Maharashtra in particular, Governor Haley mentioned that she would like to see more investments between Maharashtra and South Carolina and improve job prospects in both regions and also work with Indian companies. Governor Haley also emphasized on the need to improve the quality of relationship in Indian businesses to achieve greater corporate excellence.

Highlighting on the areas of cooperation between Maharashtra and South Carolina, Governor Haley mentioned that both regions could successfully engage in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, IT, energy, manufacturing, waste management and services. Governor Haley mentioned that her Government would focus on cooperation in the education sector and build collaborations between universities and training centers for skill development. Citing tourism as a sector of great promise, Governor Haley said that South Carolina ranks number one vacation destination in the country and number two vacation destination in the world and there are ample opportunities for cooperation in the tourism sector of both regions. Governor Haley urged Indian businesses to consider South Carolina as a potential investment destination and in the same breath she invited a business delegation from Mumbai.

\ Mr. Thomas Vajda, Consul General, USA in Mumbai, Mr. Prakash Mehta, Hon. Minister for Industries, Mining and Parliamentary affairs, Govt. of Maharashtra, Ms. Nikki Haley, Hon’ble Governor of South Carolina) Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman-WTC Mumbai & President – AIAI.

Addressing on this occasion, Mr. Prakash Mehta , Hon'ble Minister for Industries and Mining, Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Maharashtra said that the state of Maharashtra offers investor friendly industrial and investment policies and is open to foreign investments from overseas destinations. The state welcomes industrial collaborations from South Carolina particularly in the small and medium sectors, which is a vibrant sector. Given the complementarities between Maharashtra and South Carolina, both regions could successfully collaborate in the sectors of automobiles, textiles, dyes and pharmaceuticals processed foods and fisheries besides a host of other sectors. Tourism also appears to be a promising sector and can be tapped with mutual advantage.

Mr. Mehta invited businesses from South Carolina to explore these and many opportunities that have opened up in the recent years and he expressed confidence that Governor Haley’s visit to India and Maharashtra in particular will open up many vistas of cooperation in the coming years. Mr. Mehta assured his Government’s sincere and continued cooperation and support in fulfilling the joint aspirations of bringing the two regions closer, economically and culturally.

Mr. Thomas Vajda, Consul General, Consulate General of United States expressed that Governor Haley has come to India at an auspicious moment following the very successful visit of Prime Minister Mr. Modi to the United States. During that visit, Prime Minister Mr. Modi and President Mr. Obama chartered a common vision for the future of US-India relationship, firmly anchored in shared values, shared democratic principles, and a shared commitment to expand trade and investment ties to the betterment of both countries’ economies and people. There is already a strong foundation underpinning US-India economic ties. The US is one of India’s largest foreign direct investors as well. US FDI in India totals $28 billion, and through their foreign subsidiaries US companies have invested considerably more here.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai, Director, WTCA Board New York and President, All India Association of Industries said that to ensure the success of “Make in India” program, India needs to concentrate on skill development, building good infrastructure and creating a stable policy framework.

Mr. Kalantri lauded Governor Haley’s initiatives to reconstruct South Carolina with good policy measures whereby unemployment was brought down from 10.6% to 5.5% generating growth, business and employment.

Further, Mr. Kalantri sought the cooperation of Governor Haley in developing good townships and smart cities as well as strengthening the infrastructure sector in India. Mr. Kalantri looked forward to greater investment flows between Maharashtra and South Carolina. Both regions need to work together to achieve our common goals, Mr. Kalantri said.

Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai proposed the vote of thanks.