SPARKS CALLS VISIT TO INDIA 'SUCCESS'
MONTGOMERY -- Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks returned to Alabama Monday from an eight-day trade mission to India. Sparks and a delegation from Alabama traveled to India to open the Alabama-India Trade Development Center in New Delhi, to promote the sales of Alabama products, and learn more about the Indian market.
"This visit to India was a success," said Sparks. "We opened a trade office that will allow us to have staff on the ground in India working to promote the sale of Alabama products. We met with government officials who were very interested in helping us grow and we met Indian buyers who want to know more about what Alabama has to offer."
The Department has been working cooperatively with other Southern states in promoting value added food products, poultry, pulp and paper, newsprint, and introducing pecans to Indian consumers for the past two years.
This trade mission is seen as the beginning of a new phase of growing trade between Alabama and India.
Alabama is the second state in the US to open a trade office in India. Pennsylvania was the first.
"We are in a unique position to help Alabama businesses promote and sell their products in the Indian market," added Sparks.
The delegation included Sparks, International Trade Director John Key, and Srinivas Javangula, International Trade Specialist for Asia, all with the Department of Agriculture & Industries.
Members of the Alabama Legislature who accompanied Sparks on the trade mission include Rep. Richard Lindsey, Sens. Hank Sanders, Vivian Figures, Roger Bedford, Ted Little, and Pat Lindsey. Professor Claude Boyd represented Auburn University.
Also traveling as part of the trade mission were business persons representing companies from Alabama interested in developing sales of forestry products, cotton, cotton gins, telecommunications, power generation, and coal.
India is expected to import more than $8 billion in U.S. goods this year. Predictions show that within the next 5 to 10 years, India will become the second-largest economy in the world, behind China and above the United States.