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Houston wants better trade ties with India

The 16-member team of the Greater Houston Partnership will be in India till June 16.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 20:02 IST

A delegation from a leading trade body of Houston, Texas, on Tuesday said it was exploring business opportunities in India, particularly in aviation and healthcare.

The 16-member team of the Greater Houston Partnership will be in India till June 16.

"The economic growth of India is one of the best in the world and several sectors like aviation, healthcare, IT and energy are booming in the country. Looking at all these prospects, our business community is interested in developing relations further," Jim Fonteno, commissioner, Port of Huston Authority, told reporters.

Fonteno said India was the Houston region's top trade partner in South Asia, accounting for 65.8 per cent of all air cargo trade and 82.8 per cent of all sea borne trade.

He said the delegation would explore opportunities to improve air services between the two regions, to outsource business to Indian clinical research firms and also meet some Indian ministers and business leaders in New Delhi and Mumbai.

"We are in touch with the Ministry of Aviation and would like to strike some deal with Air India for better air connectivity between India and Houston," said Genaro Pena, director, marketing, Houston Airport System.

"An improved air service will help an estimated 68,000 people of Indian origin (in Houston city) to link with their homeland better," Pena said adding that the effort would enhance business prospects.

Jason Moore, an expert of Bio Houston, a life science and biotechnology commercialisation body, said, "We have around 90 bio-tech firms and half of them are drug producers. Looking at the efficient manpower and technological know-how, these firms may outsource research work to India."

"We will explore opportunities with several firms here and give a guideline to our members in Houston," he added.