BY MAHADEV DESAI
The red carpet was
rolled out by the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce
(GIACC) and major sponsors Eko Vehicles Ltd., TiE and Erin
Consultants, for the visiting Chief Minister of Karnataka,
Sri B.S.Yeddyrappa and his delegation at the breakfast
reception held at Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta, on
Tuesday, September 2.
Upon arrival, the Chief Minister greeted the attendees that
included the Consul General of India S.M.Gavai, Georgia's
Attorney General Thurbert Baker and Commissioner Ken Stewart
of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The event was emceed by Mr. C.N.(Madhu) Madhusudan, the CEO
of VectorSpan Inc. He welcomed the Chief Minister and the
members of his delegation that included several ministers,
Chief Secretary Mr. Sudhakar Rao and other key leaders of
Karnataka. He said that the GIACC was honored by their visit
and appreciated the presence of dignitaries like Gavai,
Baker and Stewart. Pointing out that visits by Heads of
States and their delegations from India are extremely
critical in building bridges, he said that such visits were
important to learn about business opportunities, practices
and culture. By touring in the US and participating in many
business and cultural events, the visiting team got an
excellent insight into US business and culture. Striking a
lighter note, he encouraged the audience to reciprocate by
learning a word in Kannada, a commonly used graceful
greeting in Karnataka - 'Namaskara'. The audience cheerfully
joined him in wishing 'Namaskara' to the Chief Minister and
his delegation. After giving a brief introduction of
Karnataka and its capital Bangalore and contrasting it with
Georgia and Atlanta, Madhusudan invited the Chief Minister
to address the gathering.
The Chief Minister is a leader who is passionate, committed
and zealous about making a difference, wanting to change
things and making Karnataka a leading State in India. He
said that he was happy to be in Atlanta and thankful for the
opportunity to address the gathering. Karnataka is one of
the top industrialized states in India. As BJP has a clear
majority in Karnataka, he could confidently assure the
investors of atleast five years of stable government. “Our
one and only agenda is Development, development and
development” he said. “We have a vision and a mission of
creating a strong state,an investor-friendly and progressive
state”, he said.
He touched upon some salient facts:
New Industrial Policy 2006-11 to promote rapid
New infrastructure Policy 2011 with strong public/Private
Faster approval through single window mechanism through
Karnataka Udyog Mitra.
Ambition to become the aerospace hub of the country.
Karnataka has over 2033 IT companies, over 688 MNCs and 87
Global Fortune 500 companies. It is home to 50% of the
bio-tech companies in India, and provides the largest number
of doctors, nurses and paramedics in the country.
The Government of India has approved 45 SEZ in the State.
A Global Investors Meet will be held in January 2009 to
encourage and facilitate investment in Karnataka.
“I invite you all to be a partner in Karnataka’s growth and
prosperity" he concluded to a thunderous applause.
The Attorney General Baker presented a memento on behalf of
GIACC to the Chief Minister to mark his visit to Atlanta.
The gathering was full of appreciation of the short but
highly impressive documentary on Karnataka which was
screened in the reception room.
Following the presentation, the Chief Secretary Mr. Sudhakar
Rao responded to the questions from the floor. He assured
the attendees that though agriculture and rural development
are top most priorities, the continued development of
Bangalore will not be ignored. “In addition, there will be
extensive focus on developing Tier 2 and tier 3 cities”, he
Welcoming the Chief Minister and his delegation to Atlanta,
Commissioner Ken Stewart commented that Georgia has long
standing relations with India. He recalled his visit to
Karnataka and remarked that there are many similarities
between Karnataka and Georgia as the latter also believes in
'faster, friendlier and easier’ customer service. “It is
commendable that Karnataka is also treating companies like
valued customers", he said.
On behalf of GIACC, the Honorable Consul General Gavai
thanked the Chief Minister and his delegation for choosing
Atlanta on their first visit to the US. “It is only
appropriate that you have come to Atlanta, a dynamic city
with many business opportunities. Top US Corporations
working in India have their headquarters here", he said. He
also thanked Attorney General Baker, GIACC and all the
sponsors. He recognized GIACC President Dr. Narsi Narasimhan,
former Chairman and emcee C.N. (Madhu)Madhusudan,GIACC’s
honorary representative in Bangalore Mr. Sai Prakash, and
Founding President Mr. Ani Agnihotri to name a few. He
stressed on GIACC’s importance to the Indian Consulate. Mr.
Gavai ended his remarks on a personal note disclosing that
his next assignment would be in Canada as India's High
Commissioner. He appreciated the warmth, affection and
cooperation he received from GIACC and the various Indian
groups in Atlanta.
The event was well attended and an outstanding testimony to
the rising importance of global cities like Atlanta and