The Indian Ocean Region
US views Tamil Nadu as 'gateway state'
11 March 2007
(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
Bio Note on Lt Gen (retired) Dan Christman]
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
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
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
Foundation, where he helped launch
a program on political reform in China in coordination with the
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
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