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O’Malley’s trade trip nets 4 deals on first day in India

Maryland businesses signed four deals with Indian counterparts shortly after arriving in the country as part of a trade mission headed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the governor’s office announced Monday.

The initiatives range from a highway engineering contract for a Montgomery County firm to the development of a 24-hour health care helpline with a call center in Prince George’s County, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Development.

“While Maryland and India have a long history of trade, this mission will help open new doors for investment, for both Maryland businesses looking to enter or expand in Indian markets, and for Indian companies looking to enter U.S. markets by locating in Maryland,” O’Malley said in a written statement.

Angarai, a management consulting firm in Greenbelt, signed an agreement Monday in Hyderabad with CI, a technology company, to develop mobile and web-based applications that build on Angarai’s business.

The deal presents Angarai “a great opportunity to make significant leap … by leveraging technology expertise and bandwidth that CI provides,” said Venkat Subramanian, the company’s president and CEO.

DBED said the deal could lead to CI opening an office in Maryland.

Another agreement could also lead to another office tenant in Prince George’s.

DataNet Systems Corp. will create MediHelp along with RT-MediBus Technologies and the Health Management and Research Institute in Hyderabad. MediHelp will be a 24-hour health care hotline to “screen minor ailments and illnesses” through a call center in Prince George’s.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III called the trip “a unique opportunity to promote his county as “a ready business partner, a source of investment opportunities, and a gateway to the State of Maryland and our neighbor, Washington D.C.”

Baker and five county employees made the trip with O’Malley.

Montgomery County firms also signed two deals.

Rockville-based Sheladia Associates Inc. won a $3.7 million design and management contract for an upgrade of an Indian national highway in the state of Orissa.

Amarex, a Germantown clinical research company, and Shreis Scalene Sciences LLC of Gaithersburg will work to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a medical device called “Cytotron.” The device was developed by a doctor in Bangalore and is designed to treat diseases such as cancer, osteoarthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“This trip represents a continuation of Montgomery County’s reaching out in the global economy,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, who also made the trip. “Our emphasis remains on the cutting edge of biotechnology and the life sciences in terms of attracting investment, business, and good jobs.”

O’Malley’s delegation, which includes more than 100 business executives, educators and government officials, arrived in India on Monday after spending a day in Qatar. The week of business functions, meetings with Indian officials and cultural events will end with a visit to the Taj Mahal on Saturday.

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 trade mission is the second for O’Malley this year and his sixth since taking office in 2007. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. traveled abroad twice, Parris N. Glendening, eight times and William Donald Schaefer, 14.

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.