WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), co-chair of the Senate’s India Caucus, will lead a five-member congressional delegation on a visit to India between Sat., Jan. 7 and Sat., Jan. 14. The delegation will meet with top government and business leaders in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, exploring opportunities to expand business, trade, defense and cultural relationships between the two countries.
In addition to Sen. Warner, the delegation will include U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (CO), Tom Udall (NM) and Reps. Joseph Crowley (NY) and Cedric Richmond (LA). Rep. Crowley is co-chair of the House India Caucus.
Highlights of the trip will include a visit to a National Basketball Association-sponsored camp for young people in New Delhi, and the signing of a new partnership agreement between the Virginia Community College System and the Wadhwani Foundation, a leading nonprofit foundation, to expand the training curriculum for skilled trades within India. The delegation also will attend the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Partnership Summit in Hyderabad, and the congressional delegation will be the first to visit the state of West Bengal since the Communist Party was defeated after 34 years of party rule there. During the week, the delegation also will learn more about education, child health, food safety and water purification efforts in the poorer regions of India. In addition, the congressional delegation has scheduled dozens of meetings with top government officials and leading executives of India’s security, energy, biotech and IT industries to explore export and investment opportunities between the two nations.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, India’s current high-growth rate will result in a major economic transformation over the next two decades. Income levels are forecast to almost triple, and India will climb from its position today as the twelfth-largest consumer market to become the world’s fifth-largest consumer market by 2025. At the same time, India’s middle class is forecast to expand by more than ten times from its current size of 50 million people to more than 580 million people.