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Pravasi Divas, 2006

NRI Iftekhar Shareef, US auto manufacturing & Illinois official will attend Pravasi Divas from Jan 7 to 9, 2006


Three teams from Midwest US to attend Pravasi Divas

Chicago, December 12, 2005

Three delegations from Midwest US, including one from auto capital Detroit, will be attending India's annual conclave to connect with its vast diaspora at Hyderabad from Jan 7 to 9 next year.
The business delegations attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, as the conference is called, will be from the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the neighbouring state of Iowa and one led by the president of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce.

"Hopefully, these visits would lead to increasing trade between India and Midwest US," said Consul General Arun Kumar.

He was speaking at a meeting of Indian business and community leaders organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Federation of Indian Associations.

Among those who canvassed for greater non-resident Indian (NRI) participation in the Pravasi Divas was Iftekhar Shareef, originally from Hyderabad, and founder president of Illinois' largest credit card processor.

"Many of us are either looking forward to retiring in India, or spending more time in the future," Shareef said. He felt that NRIs should learn from non-resident Chinese who are fully involved in China's economic development.

Shareef, who has considerable real estate investments in Hyderabad, is building a five-star hotel there and has plans to construct a medical college and hospital. He has even offered to personally host the NRIs visiting Hyderabad for the convention.

Some of the participants urged that the convention's agenda go beyond purely economic ones.

Sriram Sonty, president of SAPNA, a non-profit organisation that promotes classical Indian dance and music, said: "The Pravasi Divas should promote India-US cultural relations and invite second generation Indian Americans to participate."

Projecting increasing Indian collaboration with Detroit, traditionally the US' auto manufacturing hub, Kumar noted that Mahindra and Mahindra had recently opened an office there.

A study by McKinsey, a management consulting firm advising leading companies on issues of strategy, organisation, technology and operations, has projected that US outsourcing of car parts would grow from the current $65 billion to $375 billion in 2015. India's share of this is also expected to grow to $25 billion. ae/zmn/mj/tb




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