New Delhi, Oct 25: Taking the first step toward a long term relationship with a key Indian state, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a sister-state partnership agreement between the State of Minnesota and State of Haryana during a ceremony today in New Delhi, India with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
This is the first sister-state agreement in the history of India and Minnesota's second sister-state agreement.
Governor Pawlenty is in the midst of a 10-day trade mission that includes travel to New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai for a series of market and industry presentations, networking events, roundtable discussions and one-on-one business matchmaking events with potential Indian customers, distributors and partners. The 73 member delegation led by the Governor is believed to be the largest trade delegation from one state ever to visit India.
The agreement between Minnesota and Haryana commits the two states to “encourage, develop, and expand joint activities and programs that mutually strengthen their vibrant and growing economies, which are characterized by a strong agricultural tradition, a wealth of high technology industries, and a commitment to quality education."
The two states will also work to “promote the active exchange of ideas, knowledge, and people as it relates to trade and investment, science and technology, education and research, and arts and culture."
Located in north India, Haryana is approximately one-fifth the geographic size of Minnesota and is home to 81 cities and over 6,000 villages with more than 21 million residents. With 1.4 percent of the total area and less than two percent of the country's population, Haryana is one of the leading states in per capita income.
Haryana's proximity to the national capital New Delhi and a developed telecom and transport infrastructure are its major economic strengths. The international airport, diplomatic enclave and business centers are nearby.
Haryana is primarily an agricultural state with some industrial development. About 70 percent of residents are engaged in agriculture. Wheat and rice are the major crops. Haryana is self-sufficient in food production and the second largest contributor to India's central pool of food grains.
Before beginning his trip to India, the Governor stopped in Shanghai, China where he commemorated the 25th anniversary of Minnesota"s only other official sister-state agreement with Shaanxi Province. Shaanxi, home of the famous terra cotta warriors, became a sister-state on October 19, 1982 when Governor Al Quie and Shaanxi Governor Yu Mingtao formally signed the agreement at a ceremony in St. Paul.