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O’Malley to bring more than 100 on trade mission to India

Gov. Martin O’Malley will embark on a trade mission to India, the first by a sitting Maryland governor, at the end of November with a delegation of more than 100 educators, business executives and elected officials, his office announced Tuesday.

The trip will stretch from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4 and include a short stop in Doha, Qatar, to talk up investment opportunities in Maryland.

Once in India, O’Malley’s group will stop in Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.

“I am confident that, like our successful mission to Asia earlier this year, we will be able to open doors for new investment in Maryland, create jobs, and help our businesses tap into opportunities to provide goods and services to one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” O’Malley said in a statement. “To create jobs in Maryland, a modern economy requires modern investments and we should pursue those investments at home and abroad.”

The governor’s delegation will include his wife, Katie O’Malley, a district court judge. The first lady said she will be “visiting with court officials in hopes of creating a judicial partnership with our State, and working to find ways that Maryland can lend a helping hand to some of India’s most vulnerable women and children.”

Also making the trip will be Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson; Secretary of State John P. McDonough; University of Maryland, College Park, President Wallace Loh; Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett; and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

Businesses represented on the trip include ARINC Inc., Energy Systems Group, Medimmune, OriGene Technologies, Premier Rides, St. John Properties Inc. and Synergics.

“India represents a tantalizing though daunting opportunity to expand the client base for global export of our high tech entertainment attractions,” said delegation member Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides. “The rapidly developing middle class in India is creating export opportunities that were not available even a few years ago.”

India was the 12th-largest export market for Maryland in 2010, with $233 million in goods sent there. It was also the 13th-largest import market, with $465 million in imports.

The state recently opened a foreign trade office there, one of 11 DBED operates worldwide to promote trade and investment.

O’Malley spent 10 days in May and June in China, South Korea and Vietnam with a 74-member delegation. They signed deals that are expected to bring $85 million in trade and investments to Maryland companies.

DBED spent $144,000 to send the governor and four other state employees, including Johansson, on that trip.

The India trip will be O’Malley’s sixth since taking office in 2007. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. traveled abroad twice, Parris N. Glendening, eight times and William Donald Schaefer, 14.