Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and two other county officials are joining a small group of Indian-American business leaders for an economic development trip to India.
Ulman, chief of staff Aaron Greenfield and Richard W. Story, CEO of the county's Economic Development Authority, are leaving tonight from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and are to arrive in Bangalore, India, on Sunday. They plan to meet with government officials and visit high-tech firms, some of which have offices in Howard County, before returning Feb. 28. The Economic Development Authority, which is funded by the county and private businesses, is paying for the trip.
"This ought to be a place that folks look to invest," Ulman said about Howard County. India, he said, has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is "not just call centers and tech support."
"One of the opportunities is to highlight cross-investment," Ulman added.
The trip came about through work done for the fledgling Indian space program by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in North Laurel.
The county officials are to meet with leaders from the Indian Space Research Organization Leadership Satellite Center. A miniature radar system that will be one of several U.S. scientific instruments on board India's first mission to the moon was made at APL.
"Howard County is already on the international scene -- we are visible to foreign governments, aerospace companies, universities, research centers and many diverse commercial ventures," Ulman said in an announcement about the trip.
Ulman's visit to India "is an excellent opportunity to help us highlight Howard County as a location for Indian businesses that want to expand in the U.S." said Michael Galeone, chairman of the authority.
Story said nine Indian-American businessmen are also going.
The group is to meet with United States Department of Commerce officials, Indian space program leaders, local Indian government leaders and the local press. Business visits include Prism Microsystems Inc., an information technology firm with an office in Columbia; Wipro Technologies, the third-largest IT company in India; and with the IT secretary for the government of Karnataka state, which covers 74,000 square miles and is home to about 45 million people. It's known as the home of India's high-tech industry.