By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - India's Ambassador, Meera Shankar made her first visit to Mississippi on Friday as part of a joint venture to discuss international trade relations and business opportunities in the state.
Her first stop over a two day visit, was to meet with Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant at the State Capitol.
"Looking at the companies that are present in Mississippi there should be opportunities for more engagement," Ambassador Shankar said.
In their meeting, they exchanged ideas about the similarities between India and the United States and that both nations operate under a democracy.
India has the second largest population in the world of 1.2 billion people making it the largest democracy.
Ambassador Shankar applauded the educational opportunities that America has given to the 3 million Indians that have made the U.S. their permanent home.
"Because of the opportunity that America provides, and their skills, they've really been successful," Shankar said.
India is the state's 14th largest export market. Currently, international trade ranges from paint pigment, plastic, scrap metal, cotton, electronics, felt, chemicals, machinery, and precision instruments.
Bryant says it's important Mississippi continues a good relationship with India, and that the trade agreement operates as a two-way system.
"We understand that there is a trade surplus, that India is taking away a good deal of the jobs in the labor market," Bryant said. "There's got to be a trading system that makes Americans feel more comfortable with us doing trade and working with India."
She is presenting a lecture at Mississippi State University on Friday night, and meeting with Indian community members on Saturday.
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