The Department of Business and Economic Development will foot the bill for at least a dozen state employees on the governor’s upcoming trade mission to India.
DBED covered expenses for five when Gov. Martin O’Malley made a trade mission to China, South Korea and Vietnam in June. The delegation for that trip was smaller, however — 68 business leaders, educators and public officials compared to the more than 100 on board for India. The India trip will be shorter, six days as opposed to 10.
On the upcoming trip, DBED will cover expenses, meals, hotel and incidentals for O’Malley, first lady and District Court Judge Katie O’Malley and two aides — Rick Abbruzzese and Sam Clark. DBED staff on the trip will include Secretary Christian Johansson, Assistant Secretary Bob Walker, Office of International Trade Director Signe Pringle and Judy Britz, executive director of the Maryland Biotechnology Center.
DBED will also pay for the state’s India representative, Sanjiv Khanna, to make the trip as well as some expenses that will eventually be reimbursed for three members of the Secretary of State’s office. They are Secretary John McDonough, Deputy Secretary Rajan Natarajan and Director of International Affairs Mendy Nitsch.
The department has not released a cost estimate. The state only released details from the Asia trip after O’Malley returned and the receipts were totaled.
DBED spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood said the state could use a federal grant to cover part of the cost of the trip. The U.S. Small Business Administration gave the state $585,000 in September to help increase exports from small Maryland businesses.