Virginia Governor Wants His First Trade Delegation to Visit India

“The contribution of the Indian community to our success is significant,” Virginia’s new governor Ralph Northam said.


Aiming to bolster business relations and people-to-people ties, newly elected Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that his first trade delegation would be to India. Northam made the comments while addressing a gathering of Indian American persons on the occasion of India’s Republic Day on Jan. 26.

“I look forward to a trade mission to India. In fact, I want to take my first trade mission to India,” Northam said at the event in Richmond, Virginia, in his first address to the Indian American community after taking the Governor’s position on Jan. 13.

Northam, a Democrat, added: “We are proud of our inclusive culture. We have welcomed everyone to the Commonwealth (of Virginia) and we will continue do so. It is the diversity of the Commonwealth that defines us. The contribution of the Indian community to our success is significant. We hope to build on this.”

Northam and his wife Pamela Northam attended the event, which featured colorful dance performances to celebrate the 69th Republic Day of India.

“We belong here to this great Commonwealth, but we are deeply tied to our roots as well. We try and nurture this dual sense of belongingness including in the next generation. This is in full display at the performances put on by this incredible group of young people,” said Sanjay Mittal, the president of the Cultural Center of India, according to American Bazaar.

About the trade delegation, Northam said that the dates are not finalized yet and the visit is still being planned.

“India is an important trading partner for Virginia and there are a number of areas where there is great scope for co-operation,” Northam said, according to AFP.

The previous Governor of Virginia, now Senator Tim Kaine, welcomed the decision of Northam, saying he is “looking forward” to his next visit to India.

An Indian American official in Northam’s administration, Dr. Bimaljit Singh Sandhu, has identified agro-industries and defense as the two areas for collaboration between India and Virginia. India was ranked 14th among export destinations for Virginia, according to ExportVirginia.Org.

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