Nevada businesses can expect stronger trade ties with India, thanks to a new task force from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
The Nevada-India Economic Development and Business Task Force, developed by the GOED and the Las Vegas India Chamber of Commerce, launched Thursday night. Composed of local business owners, members of the state’s Indian community and local educational and health care industry officials, the group hopes to attract direct investment in Nevada and expand exports.
“This is an opportunity for Nevada companies,” said Stacy Standley, chairman of the task force and the managing director of BG India in Las Vegas, which exports lubricants and chemicals to automotive companies in India. “We want to promote a better (business-to-business) relationship between Nevada and India.”
India is Nevada’s second largest trading partner, behind Switzerland. In 2017, the state exported more than $1.8 billion in products, goods and services to India and imported more than $400 million in goods, according to a statement from the GOED.
Kris Sanchez, the director of international trade for GOED, said most of these exports are driven by the state’s mining community.
The two regions already have strong ties in tourism — the state opened its first representative office in New Delhi in 2016 — but there is more to be done with the country and its emerging market, Sanchez said.
“The Indian economy has been quite strong,” Sanchez said, pointing to the country’s growing middle class and growth in gross domestic product. The country’s GDP growth was 6.6 percent in 2017, according to World Bank Group, nearly three times the U.S.’s rate.
Rita Vaswani, president of the Las Vegas Indian Chamber of Commerce, said that has led to plenty of opportunities for Nevada companies.
“There’s so much worth in India where investors are going to other countries and other states,” she said. “We’re so far behind (other states and countries) from promoting ourselves. We have to let investors in India and business people know what we have to offer.”