Faculty and leaders from the College of Business and Economics were among members of Boise’s economic development community who met with the Consul General of India, Venkatesan Ashok, at the SBDC Accelerator in Boise on Feb. 1. Based in the Silicon Valley in California, the Consul General was on his first visit to the Treasure Valley. He was accompanied by Karen Parnell of the Idaho State Department of Commerce. The stop in Boise was part of a four-day trip designed to introduce the ambassador to Idaho. The Indian Consulate in San Francisco serves the States of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the Territory of Guam.
The Consul General discussed India’s focus on and need for infrastructure development in 700,000 villages spread across 29 states. Industries of interest include renewable energy, water and waste management, farm technologies, agriculture and agro-processing, bio technology and pharmaceuticals.
The Indian economy has been growing at an average rate of about 9 percent over the last three years. The Indian government gives a high priority to the development of infrastructure in highways, ports, railways, airports, power and telecom. In 2015, India had a positive goods trade balance of $23 billion with the United States. Main exports to India from the U.S. include agricultural products, aircraft and machinery. Main imports to the U.S. from India include precious metals and stones, textiles and pharmaceuticals.
In 2015, exports from Idaho to India ranked 18th with a value of $28 million. Imports to Idaho from India ranked 21st with a value of $14 million. A large portion of Idaho’s exports to India are semiconductors and industrial products.