Yesterday, Katie and I departed for India as part of our state’s largest economic development mission. We’ll be joined by 43 Maryland companies, three heads of universities and local elected officials all with the same goal: to find opportunities abroad that expand opportunities at home.
When we announced the jobs mission a few weeks ago, I received a flood of questions asking, “Why India?” The simple answer is, “Why Maryland?”
We live in an interconnected, global world and new technology has made it possible to communicate, transport goods, and share knowledge like never before. All of these new abilities mean new opportunities.
India is currently Maryland’s eleventh largest export market. Our businesses exported $192 million of goods and services to India in 2011, up 18 percent from 2010. And India’s needs continue to grow. In fact, in the next five years alone, India will invest $1.7 trillion in infrastructure. They will construct 12,500 miles of roads, 12 new port/container projects, 25 new “Greenfield” airports and generate 150,000 MW of new power plant capacity. This all equates to one very important thing for Maryland businesses: new opportunities to expand and new opportunities to create more jobs for more Marylanders.
For six days, our delegation will explain why Maryland is an excellent investment opportunity for India. We will work to form new partnerships, promote Maryland businesses and bring Foreign Direct Investment to our state.
We already know that overall, no other state in America has the same combination of location, workforce, and world-class facilities. We know that our public schools rank first in the country, that we have the most PHD scientists and engineers per capita, that we are home to 27 technology incubators, including an International Incubator, and that we remain one of only eight states to maintain a Triple A bond rating from all three major bond rating agencies.
We know that Maryland is a great place to live, work and do business and through this economic development trip, India will know too.
For updates from the mission, you can follow me on twitter @governoromalley. Members of the delegation and I will be using the hashtag #MDINdia. You can also follow us on Facebook and sign up for email updates.
Thank you and I look forward to representing our great State abroad.
Martin O'Malley is the Governor of Maryland. He writes a regular blog for his official website.