BY VEENA RAO
India will open two more consulates in the US in Atlanta and Seattle, which are emerging economic hubs and are home to over 60,000 people of Indian origin.
“The Consul General of India in Houston S.M. Gavai has confirmed the announcement. Though the date is not yet final, the Houston Consulate will be involved in the process,” said GIACC’s C.N. "Madhu" Madhusudan.
Atlanta boasts of hosting iconic brands like Coca Cola and CNN, and is among the country’s fastest growing areas. Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is the busiest airport in the world. Delta Air Lines Inc. announced Aug. 7 that it would begin a nonstop flight from to Mumbai, India, on Nov. 1.
“GIACC and other Indian American associations in Metro Atlanta, such as IPN, IACA and Gujarati Samaj, have been working for many years to persuade the Government of India to open a consulate in Atlanta,” said GIACC president Dr. L.S. Narsi Narasimhan. “India has long recognized Atlanta as the city to have its next consulate, if it were to open one. Appointment of an Honorary Consul in the mean time clearly signified that. Atlanta and Hawaii are the only two places where India appointed an honorary consul. Last year's Atlanta visit by Indian Ambassador H.E. Ronen Sen, as well as the India trip by Commissioner Ken Stewart of Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEoD) certainly helped the cause.”
Atlanta is poised to be the gateway for Indian corporations with global ambitions, he said. The trade between India and Georgia grew an estimated 21% each way last year. The consulate will be extremely helpful to grow the trade, cultural and tourism ties between India and Georgia/SE US. The new Sister City relationship that is being formed between Atlanta and Ahmedabad certainly adds to the growing ties.
“GIACC Life Member Dr. Jagdish Sheth, at our recent gala banquet, in his keynote address opined that Atlanta could serve as India's gateway to South America as well,” he said.
“GIACC is excited to hear the news, and we will assist the new consulate in any way we can to amplify their impact,” he added.