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Minister Kamal Nath invites Gov. Blagojevich to India
May, 28th 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said here that his administration planned a visit of high ranking business delegation to India in November this year and that he was looking forward to pay his first visit to India with the delegation.Blagojevich was responding to an invitation extended by the visiting Indian Commerce-Industry Minister Kamal Nath during a breakfast meeting held at Mid America Club in Chicago last week.

The meeting hosted by a group of Indian Americans led by Raghu Nayak and Balwidner Singh in honor of Indian Minister Kamal Nath was attended by a galaxy of high ranking elected Illinois officials, and prominent figures from other Midwestern States.

Blagojevich welcomed the Minister to Illinois and gave an overview of the progress achieved by the State of Illinois. He alluded to the potential of Indian cooperation with the State and pointed out that Illinois is the only State in US which has opened a resident Trade office in New Delhi, India, which started functioning last year.

As pointed out by Raghu Nayak who had earlier introduced the Governor to the audience, "the goal is to actively promote the trade and Indo US relations to a new level."Among those who attended the meet besides Rod Blagojevich were Lt. Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, President of Illinois Senate, Emil Jones, several Congressmen/Congresswomen including Jesse Jackson Jr, Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Fosterand Melissa Bean.

Also present were Commissioner Cook County Forest Claypool, Alderman Joe More, Alderman Bernie Stone, Dr Leon Dingle, Chairman, Illinois Medical District and many senior members of the staff of elected representatives. Several State Senators and State Representatives were also present along with Raja Krishnamoorty, Deputy Treasurer of the State of Illinois.

In addition to leaders from Illinois, Steve Carter, Attorney General of the State of Indiana and Swati Dandekar, State Representative of Iowa were there. Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri's presence at the meet helped smoothen the exchange of views.Ashok Kumar Attri introduced Kamal Nath. In his address, Kamal Nath expressed happiness at being able to come back to Chicago soon after his February interaction with US Trade Representative and with important business persons here. He dwelt at length on the fast moving developments in economic and trade relations between India and US in general and India and Mid Western States, including Illinois in particular.

He gave information on large and growing investments from India into the US creating a large number of jobs and also listed several sectors like manufacturing, food processing industries, infrastructure, SMEs and cooperation in research and development as promising areas for both sides.

The address was followed by an extensive question and answers session, which witnessed a lively, informative and thought promoting interaction between Kamal Nath and the assembled elected dignitaries. All leaders present also spoke at length about their vision of India-US relations.

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