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Home  > Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom > International Frame of  the Tamil Struggle  > The Indian Ocean Region - A  Story Told with Pictures > US views Tamil Nadu as 'gateway state' connected both to the east and the west  > International Relations in the Age of Empire


The Indian Ocean Region
US views Tamil Nadu as 'gateway state'

(IANS Report) Chennai,
11 March 2007

Lt Gen (retired) Dan Christman, senior vice president (international affairs) in the US Chamber of Commerce leading a 38 member delegation to Tamil Nadu:   "Tamil Nadu is a gateway state for international business as it connected both to the east and the west. US-India defence relationship has been improving. US companies are getting acquainted with India's rather intricate procurement arrangements and educate their counterparts here about our (US) systems... about our new, sophisticated US military equipment. This is an area of significant commercial promise"

[see also Bio Note on Lt Gen (retired) Dan Christman]


A team of American businessmen that was in India to explore investment opportunities, particularly in the defence, energy and agricultural sectors, has described Tamil Nadu as a "gateway state".

Lt Gen (retired) Dan Christman, senior vice president (international affairs) in the US Chamber of Commerce, was leading the 38-member delegation.

"Tamil Nadu is a gateway state" for international business as it connected both to the east and the west, he said at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) initiative here to interact with government officials and business leaders from southern India.

David Hopper, the US consul general in Chennai, said that by March 2007 "we expect direct investment by US firms in India to exceed $1 billion".

Calling India's defence procurement arrangements "intricate", Hopper said the US-India defence relationship has been improving.

"US companies are getting acquainted with India's rather intricate procurement arrangements and educate their counterparts here about our (US) systems... about our new, sophisticated US military equipment. This is an area of significant commercial promise," he added.

Hopper also announced that US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman would be visiting India in the next few months.

He also said: "Improving India's agricultural production and its agricultural produce market is one of the most critical areas of focus in Indo-US intellectual and technical collaboration."

Tamil Nadu Power Minister Arcot Veerasamy invited US companies to invest in the power sector and told the American visitors that "atomic power companies in the US" have also expressed "their intention to start power plants in Tamil Nadu".

He noted that Russian technology was already helping generate 6,000 MW of electricity from the Koodankulam nuclear power facility in southern Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu industry secretary Shaktikanta Das the state has emerged as the leather, textiles and automobile hub, but it is also "emerging as an electronic hub for hardware and has been slotted at the top by international players conducting due diligence studies".

Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp chairman S. Ramasundaram said that by 2015, 50 percent of all mobile handsets in the world would be made in the state.


Note

[Courtesy US Chamber of Commerce ]

Lt Gen (retired) Dan Christman is Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the United States Chamber of Commerce. Dan is responsible for representing the Chamber before foreign business leaders and government officials and for providing strategic leadership on international issues affecting the business community. He oversees a team of dozens of policy analysts and program coordinators who are committed to global business engagement. Before joining the Chamber, Christman served for two years as the president and executive director of the Kimsey Foundation, where he helped launch a program on political reform in China in coordination with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dan, a career military officer who retired from active duty in 2001, served for five years as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also served for two years as assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during which time he traveled with and advised Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

He was centrally involved during this period with negotiations between Israel and Syria as a member of the Secretary's Middle East Peace Team. Further, Dan represented the United States as a member of NATOís Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium. General Christman has written and lectured extensively on leadership and national defense, including the ongoing war against international terrorism.

He also served as a military analyst for CNN International during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a frequent contributor to CNN, and has also appeared on ABC, Fox, MSNBC, CNBC, and C-SPAN, to discuss defense and national security issues.

During the Gulf War in 1991, he headed a strategic planning group that advised the Armyís chief of staff on war prosecution policies. Graduating first in his class from West Point, Dan also received MPA and MSE degrees in public affairs and civil engineering from Princeton University and graduated with honors from the George Washington University Law School. He is a decorated combat veteran of Southeast Asia, where he commanded a company in the 101st Airborne Division in 1969. On four occasions, General Christman has been awarded the Army and Defense Distinguished Service Medal, which is the Defense Departmentís highest peacetime award.

 


 

 

 

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