Abbott India

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is planning to lead a trade delegation to India in 2018 to increase trade and economic ties between the U.S. and India. (gov.texas.gov photo)

HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is planning to take a trade delegation to India next year as part of his effort to further increase trade and economic ties between the two countries.

Abbott made the announcement in this regard Oct. 22 during Diwali celebrations for members of the Indian American community at the Governor's Mansion in Austin.

Abbott and first lady Cecilia welcomed over 30 Indian American community members from Austin, Houston, Dallas and other places, at their sprawling mansion and lighted the ceremonial Diwali lamp.

“The Diwali lamp has found a permanent home at the governor's mansion in Austin, this is the third year in a row,” Abbott said. “Diwali and India community's spirit of victory over evil, light over darkness inclusiveness is very similar to the values of the Americans.”

During the celebration is when Abbott made the announcement. The mission will focus on increasing trade and investment between Texas and India in a range of sectors.

He also expressed admiration and appreciation for the Indian Americans’ contribution and voluntarism during Hurricane Harvey.

The way Texans came together and responded to affected people during Harvey is an example, he said.

Roughly 700 Indian American volunteers dedicated more than 24,000 hours to Texas during Harvey and together they distributed over 28,000 meals to the locals in need.

No rescuer asked about the race or the color of the person he or she is going to rescue. It was just a service to a fellow human being and that is what matters, he said.

Consul General Anupam Ray thanked the governor and the first lady of Texas for opening the doors of their mansion on Diwali.

Ray also highlighted the accomplishments of the Indian American community in Texas in 2017, including having the first successful Houston India conference in March 2017 where Texas and Indian businesses and think tank experts came together to increase bilateral trade and investment. Ray also honored Ian Grillot, who risked his life to protect Indian Americans in a Kansas shooting in February.

The consul general also noted India's purchase of the first $1 billion worth of gas from Texas, Texas community colleges led by Indian American firm Cambridge Education partnering to work with the Skills India mission, and the purchase of $100 billion worth of defense equipment and helicopters as accomplishments throughout the year.

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