Describing South Carolina governor Nikki Haley as one who epitomises achievements of Indian- Americans in the US, ambassador Nirupama Rao has stepped up efforts to deepen India's economic ties with her state.
Rao, who concluded her three-day visit to the state, held a series of meetings with Haley and other top officials on enhancing the partnership between India and South Carolina.
Haley, 40, is the first woman of Indian-origin to hold the top gubernatorial post in the US.
The partnership aimed to seek ways and means of Indian companies investing in South Carolina and how companies from the state can help India in fields like infrastructure.
"South Carolina provides a very conducive environment for foreign investment and which is what Indian companies would look to," Rao, the former Indian Foreign Secretary, said.
The Indian Ambassador to the US praised Haley for epitomising the achievements of Indian Americans in the US.
"She is a star back home. We love her for achievements. In many ways, she epitomises the achievements of the Indian American community in this country; all that they have done to make America proud and to make India proud," Rao said at a joint media availability with Haley.
Born of migrants from Punjab, Haley is the first Indian American woman governor of a US State and after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, she is only the second Indian American Governor here. Both are from the Republican Party.
Haley underlined that India and its growth provides an opportunity to the people of South Carolina.
"It's an opportunity to partner with a country which continues to be strong when it comes to developing new things in IT, in innovation in medicine in all of these things that how do we get Indian companies to get to do business in south Carolina, how do we partner so we benefit," Haley said.
Rao said in her discussions with Haley and her team she looked at ways to cement better relations at a time of awakening in India-US relationship.
She said her efforts were aimed at bringing Indian companies to South Carolina and synergise the respective capabilities and strength. She said infrastructure development was "a key priority" amid accelerating growth in India.
Praising the achievements of Indian American community in the US, Haley said it has made commendable progress in every field and she is proud of being part of it.
The Governor said the community is one of the highest educated among all the minority communities in the country, has the highest per capita income and is "least dependent on government assistance".
"The one that I love, the Indian community continues to be at the top among the most philanthropic community of the country. I continue to be incredibly proud," she underlined.
'Haley Epitomises Achievements of Indian Americans'
Lalit K Jha/Washington
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