A rapidly growing US city in the Washington State has been honoured by the Department of Commerce for its "Initiative India," a special effort to boost trade in the region with India.
The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Suresh Kumar, at a function on Monday, presented officials of Bellevue City with a 'Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in International Trade'.
Across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue was recently named number 1 in CNN’s Money list of the best places to live and launch businesses.
The city hosted a luncheon for Kumar and local business executives to discuss National Export Initiative of the US President Barack Obama, and how it can help American companies.
The initiative calls for doubling US exports in five years.
Bellevue has been aggressively pursuing international trade ties with India and other countries as part of a strategy to diversify the Bellevue and Eastside economy.
With Initiative India, launched in 2008, Bellevue has given workshops for local businesses on trading opportunities with India and hosted visits from India's ambassador and consul general, a media release said.
In 2009, India gave Bellevue a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and chose it as the location for its next US consulate.
The Indian population in Bellevue has grown more than 1,000 per cent since 2000, including employees at Boeing, Microsoft and other technology firms.
"We realise how dependent our economic growth is on international trade," said Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee.
"One out of every three jobs is related to international trade, and at least 15 per cent of our businesses," the Mayor said.