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Seattle, WA (PRWEB) December 21, 2012
The Co-Chair of Washington State–India Trade Relations Action Committee (WASITRAC), Debadutta Dash was among few selected Seattleites who were invited to the White House Holiday Party on December 12. Albert Shen, the principal of the Shen Consulting and Tay Yoshitani, CEO of the Port of Seattle were other invitees to attend the Holiday Celebration with President and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Both Shen and Yoshitani have been to India as part of the WASITRAC trade advocacy promoting bilateral trade between India and the Washington State.
The White House had hosted its fourth annual Diwali celebration, a tradition started by President Obama in 2009, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Diwali, also known as “the festival of lights,” is a holiday celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists worldwide, providing a time for celebration and reflection. Its stories and rituals focus on the triumph of light over darkness and compassion over hatred. In attendance were Tulsi Gabbard, congresswoman-elect of Hawaii’s 2nd District and the first practicing Hindu member of the U.S. Congress; Nirupama Rao, the Indian ambassador to the United States; Vice President Joe Biden; and Debadutta Dash.
Established in 2007, WASITRAC has been a Seattle based non-profit trade advocacy group engaged in US-India trade relations. The group facilitated its first trade mission to India in 2010 co-led by Lt. Governor Brad Owen and its honorary Chair US Rep. Jim McDermott when North Seattle Community College signed a MOU with couple of educational institutions in the state of Odisha. The second trade mission was led by Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani in 2011 when the historic centennial sister port agreement was signed between Dhamra port in Odisha and the Port of Seattle.
In 2012, as part of the Next Fifty celebration of the Seattle Center, WASITRAC organized the 1st Washington State Summit on US-India Trade & Commerce in collaboration with the Seattle Center Foundation, Consulate General of India in San Francisco, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Foster School of Business and University of Washington Bothell School of Business. This event was supported by the U.S. Commercial Service, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Washington State Department of Commerce, Seattle Tourism and Convention Bureau, Washington Tourism Alliance, Washington Economic Development Commission and a host of sponsoring organizations. The summit was also attended by the business and government delegations from the Indian states of Assam, Gujarat and Odisha.