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Press Release

Washington, DC

            On April 2, 2012, Ambassador Rao spoke at the inaugural dinner in Richmond, Virginia on the establishment of India Chair in Democracy and Civil Society at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  In a grand ceremony, which also featured an address by Hon’ble Robert McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, Ambassador Rao emphasized that democracy, freedom from fear, respect for civil liberties and the rule of law provide essential foundations to the great edifice of India – U.S. Strategic Partnership.  Ambassador agreed with Governor McDonnell in stressing the need to constantly nurture the bonds of friendship including through building partnerships especially in the field of education, and between research institutions of the two countries.

           In a separate meeting, Ambassador Rao and Governor McDonnell agreed to take concrete follow up measures to forge greater trade and investment ties between India and the State of Virginia.

            On April 3, Ambassador addressed an International Business Summit at the VCU on the theme “The rise of India in the global business arena”.  She said that rapidly growing commercial elements of India-US business ties including trade in goods and services; technology partnerships; two-way capital flows; research based tie-ups in the field of agriculture, energy, health-care, etc., provided a key underpinning to the bilateral strategic relationship. She also underscored that fundamentals of India’s economic growth remain sound. India’s strong domestic consumption; a growing middle class of about 300 million people; India’s focus on manufacturing and innovation; and its skilled human resource base would continue to provide new opportunities for commercial ties between the two countries.

            On the same day, in her meeting with a cross-section of top business community in Richmond, hosted at the headquarters of Mead West Vaco, Ambassador underlined that India’s economic reforms are progressive and investor friendly.  India is open for business and the Government of India, and the Embassy in particular are always ready to facilitate strengthened business partnerships between the two countries.