Columbus Region Business Development Mission to India Led by Franklin County and Columbus2020!

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Franklin County and Columbus2020! will lead Columbus business delegation to India February 8-19, 2011.

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Economic development in Columbus, Ohio

Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady and Columbus2020!, a regional economic development initiative, are leading a delegation of 15 business and community leaders on a business development mission to India (Feb. 8-19, 2011). The delegation, representing a cross-section of the Columbus Region’s leading industries, including financial services, information technology, legal and education, will include stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and the Columbus Sister City, Ahmedabad.

Columbus and Ahmedabad finalized a sister city relationship in 2008, making Columbus Ahmedabad’s first sister city. The relationship began as a business venture, but it soon fostered diplomatic ties as well, especially in light of the large and active Indian population in Columbus. Ahmedabad has a very diverse economy. Its economic base was originally founded in the textiles industry, but the pharmaceutical and the information technology industries have also grown significantly in the past few decades.

Mission participants include; the City of Columbus, Columbus Sister Cities International, The Ohio State University, Jones Lang Lasalle, Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, Bluemile Inc. and SGI Global Business Advisors.

The development mission will be an opportunity for the Franklin County delegation to explore foreign direct investment, export and business development opportunities for businesses in the sectors of advanced manufacturing, information technologies, biosciences and advanced energy systems. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Indian-U.S. trade tops $63.63 billion a year and “India’s GDP, growing at 6.7 percent (for 2008-09), makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the second fastest in Asia. It also ranks second in global foreign direct investments and is a top destination for international investors, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD).

India also makes significant investment in the U.S. In fact, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) indicates that Indian companies’ investments in the U.S. between 2004 and 2009 amounted to approximately $5.5 billion. Metals, information technology, media and entertainment, industrial machinery, equipment and tools and financial services were the sectors that received the greatest amount of investments.

“This is the perfect time to take a Franklin County delegation to India,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “India’s growing infrastructure means trade and investment opportunities are available for Franklin County companies. India is an important market and there is great potential to create jobs and foreign investment from India for our local economy through these business relationships.”

The growing synergy between the two countries in the technology sectors and mutually shared respect for democracy, rule of law and well established business practices have made the two countries natural business partners.

“Columbus2020! is excited to participate in this global initiative with such a strong, collaborative team,” said Kenny McDonald, chief executive officer, Columbus2020! “Exploring opportunities in India is important to the economic growth of our region.”

Columbus2020! is a bold, new, regional public-private partnership that will leverage Central Ohio´s research and academic institutions, diverse industries to position the State Capital to become the fastest growing economy in the country and one of the nation´s leaders in economic development. This mission is the inaugural international trade mission for the new Columbus2020! team.

Franklin County will be “tweeting” trip updates and photos on the official Franklin County twitter account, http://twitter.com/FranklinCoOhio. Columbus2020! also will be posting updates via http://twitter.com/kennymcdon and http://twitter.com/CBUSIntlBiz.

About Our Organizations:

Bluemile, Inc. -Bluemile makes technology a utility. It is an established provider of cloud, fiber, colocation and wholesale voice solutions that power enterprise companies, service providers and municipalities. Bluemile owns and operates its national optical and IP network, Sonus powered voice network, highly redundant data center and enterprise cloud infrastructure that is powered by EMC, VCE, VMware and Dell. Bluemile provides enterprise cloud solutions, including compute, storage, backup, scalable VPS, dedicated servers, hosted voice, hosted exchange and virtual desktop. Learn more at http://www.bluemilecloud.com.

City of Columbus - Columbus, Ohio is a thriving metropolitan area of 1.8 million people (Columbus is the 16th largest city in the U.S.) at the heart of the largest concentration of population and economic activity in North America. For nearly 200 years the City of Columbus has grown as a stable, affordable community for businesses of all sizes to locate and expand. Columbus is diverse in every way, offering remarkable assets and infrastructure along with a young, talented and very creative workforce. From logistics and distribution, to biomed and polymers, from insurance and banking, to education and research, Columbus is perfectly located for business.

In 2009, BusinessWeek magazine named the city as the best place in the country to raise a family. Forbes Magazine in 2008 ranked the city as the No. 1 up-and-coming tech city in the nation, and the city was ranked a top 10 city by RelocateAmerica in 2010. In 2007, fDi Magazine ranked the city No. 3 in the U.S. for cities of the future, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was rated No. 1 in 2009 by USA Travel Guide. Learn more at http://www.columbus.gov.

Columbus Sister Cities International - Columbus Sister Cities International (CSCI) was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1996 although Columbus's first sister city relationship began in 1955 with Genoa, Italy. CSCI's mission is to create economic, educational and cultural opportunities through relationship building between Columbus and its eight sister cities. CSCI excels at building relationships - locally and globally. The eight sister cities include: Ahmedabad, Dresden, Genoa, Hefei, Herzliya, Odense, Seville and Tainan City. Learn more at http://www.columbussistercities.org/.

Columbus2020! - Columbus2020! is a bold, new public-private partnership to advance the regional economy by leveraging its diverse industries and research and academic institutions. We seek to position the region as one of the fastest growing economies in the country and a national leader in economic development. Columbus2020! will grow our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world´s leading companies are attracted to the region, and that innovations are cultivated and commercialized. Learn more at http://columbus2020.org.

Franklin County Commissioners - As the administrative head of Franklin County government, the three-member board of commissioners set the strategic direction and fiscal priorities for the 33rd largest county in the nation. With an annual budget of $1.25 billion, the commissioners work with business and community leaders to preserve the high quality of life that makes Franklin County a great place to live and work. Franklin County government is known for its leadership and continues to be recognized nationally for sound financial planning and overall management practices. Franklin County recently earned AAA bond ratings from Moody's Investors Services and Standards & Poor's for the 10th consecutive year. These ratings place Franklin County among the top one percent of counties nationwide. Franklin County was also recognized as one of the best managed counties in America in a study conducted by Governing Magazine and Syracuse University. Learn more at http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/commissioners/.

Franklin County Economic Development& Planning Department - The Economic Development & Planning Department provides economic development, affordable housing, zoning enforcement, land-use planning, residential building inspection, floodplain administration and information services to protect and enhance the quality of life for the inhabitants of Franklin County and Central Ohio in a stable, sustainable local economy. Learn more at http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/commissioners/edp/.

Jones Lang Lasalle - Jones Lang Lasalle is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management. We have more than 30,000 employees in 60 countries who serve the local, regional and global needs of clients. JLL is comprised of professionals who are experts in their respective field; globally, we help organizations act decisively on opportunities and risks in a changing world. Learn more at http://www.us.am.joneslanglasalle.com/unitedstates/en-us/Pages/Columbus.aspx.

Kegler, Brown Hill & Ritter - Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter is a professional services firm providing innovative legal solutions for your business, litigation, government relations, real estate, construction, IP needs and more. Founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1964, the firm serves clients locally, nationally and globally and has lawyers qualified and licensed to practice law in both Ohio and the Republic of India. Learn more at http://www.keglerbrown.com.

The Ohio State University - The Ohio State University is one of America's largest and most comprehensive. More than 64,000 students select from 170 undergraduate majors and more than 250 masters, doctoral and professional degree programs. As Ohio's best and one of the nation's top-20 public universities, Ohio State is further recognized by a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. Learn more at http://www.osu.edu.

SGI Global Business Advisors - Founded in 2003 to help government entities develop International Economic development strategies and implement them, and to help companies develop International Business in foreign markets, SGI has become a unique organization in both the nature and quality of its services. SGI works with governments, states and provinces, counties, cities, economic development organizations, academic and research institutions, and private businesses. Learn more at http://www.sgiglobal.com.

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