Cincinnati Chamber in India to woo Indian corporates

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Mumbai, Oct 21 (UNI) The US is now looking for investors to shore up its floundering economy and scouting for avenues to lessen the rising ranks of the unemployed.

A high level delgation from Cincinnati Regional Chamber is in India to invite Indian business houses, including IT firms, to invest in the midwestern city of Cincinnati in Ohio, which is known more for its manufacturing hubs and farm produce.

''We are following up on the USD 20 million investment made by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The investment yielded 1,000 new jobs within the city, and we're here to look for more,'' the Chamber's Economic Development, vice president, Doug Moormann told UNI today.

Mr Moormann said the delegation will look for investments beyond its primary sector IT and will include consumer goods, chemical, pharma, aerospace and auto parts sectors.

Talks will also be held with trade associations. The Chamber is looking to rope in 15-20 Indian companies and replicate the Japanese story of the 80's in the region within five years.

With the state (Ohio) refining its tax system, Indian companies can expect tax benefits, including breaks in profit and property taxes. The city and region also has a 30,000 strong workforce, well versed in IT thanks to nine Fortune 500 companies based in the city, Mr Moormann pointed out.

Any potential increase in labour wages will be negated by easy access to markets in the US, innovative prowess of the workforce, good value of products, savings in energy costs and in real estate, he said.

''We spend a lot on Research&Development. Applied research is undertaken by the corporates, while the government funds basic research,'' he said.

Denying that the Chamber would take away jobs from India, Mr Moormann said though job retention in the region was a priority, the state is open to expats and skilled foreign workers. '' We have pushed for increasing the number of HB-1 visa and there are more than 400 foreign firms based in the region, including the head offices of Honda and Toyata's north American operations.

''The TCS office in Cincinnati has 300 Indian employees out of 1,000. It may seem strange, but India has outsourced more jobs than the US over the past few years.'' The delegation will hold further meetings with corporate houses in Bangalore and Delhi.

UNI ZC RN VKG1555

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