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Passage to India: Ballard leading weeklong trade trip

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and several local business leaders depart Friday on a weeklong trade mission to India, according to the Indy Chamber.

The trip is planned as an “economic and cultural trade mission to promote Indianapolis, strengthen relationships and explore economic opportunities in India,” the Chamber said. It is being funded privately through the Chamber.

The delegation will visit the cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi. Visits will focus on information technology, life sciences, and research organizations.

The trip was originally scheduled for February, but was postponed following fatal bombings in Hyderabad.

“As the world’s second-fastest growing economy, India presents significant opportunities for our city,” Ballard said in a prepared statement. “Every aspect of this trip has been planned to help us leverage our relationships with top business leaders and government officials in a continued effort to strengthen our ties with India and broaden business opportunities for Indianapolis-based companies.”

Develop Indy, the city's economic development agency and a unit of the chamber, has conducted at least 23 trade missions since Ballard made them a priority for the city in 2008. IBJ reported in February that no foreign company has set up operations in Indianapolis as a result of the trips. Economic development officials tout the value of establishing relationships with foreign officials and business leaders, and there are examples of Indianapolis-area firms reaping business from such trips.

Joining the mayor in India will be his wife, Winnie; Amber Ross, senior project director of the Indy Chamber; Jane Gehlhausen, director of international and cultural affairs for the city; and Raju Chinthala, president of the Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee.

Other delegates are Vinod Sadhu, chief information officer at ISTA Inc.; Chowdry Pinnamaneni, a physician at St. Vincent Hospital; and Gregory Hancock, director of the Gregory Hancock Dance Theater.

The delegates plan to return April 17.
 

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  • Ballard
    Will someone competent please run for Mayor????? This Mayor barely squeaked by in the latest election and was certainly beatable had the Dems run anyone competent. His narrow win was in no way a confirmation that we approve of his methods. Gifts to Simons, gifts to Irsays, CIB running wild, meaningless travels when he should be fighting crime...enough. Help!!!!!
  • Privately Funded
    It is not "privately funded." We taxpayers heavily subsidize DevelopIndy which works with the Chamber to fund these trips. They'll say that the money comes out of a different pot and not taxpayers money, but money is fungible. That's a phony argument. Yes we taxpayers pay for these trips. Oh, and the Chamber doesn't get "donations" from companies. The Chamber assesses dues. The Chamber's clients are some of the biggest recepients of our tax dollars. Ballard has taken corporate welfare to new heights.
  • Yes, privately funded
    Idyllic, the Chamber is not funded by taxpayers. It is funded by donations from businesses. You must be confusing it with some other government agency.
  • sweet
    23 Trade missions so more or less half a year traveled, wined and dined must be exhausting. So much for government for the people.
  • Privately funded?
    Privately funded by the Indy Chamber? Who funds the Indy Chamber? Indianapolis taxpayers.
    • Tax payer
      Privately funded trip...none of our tax payer dollars were used to fund this trip.
    • Taxes
      Apparently, nobody read the article. PRIVATELY FUNDED TRIP. Plus, keeping a good relationship with IT in India is very important in trying to bring higher-paying jobs to Indy.
    • Not taxpayer funded
      The article says the trip is privately funded through the Chamber, not by taxpayers.
    • Ridiculous
      What does a B-list city MAYOR need to go travel internationally for? Meanwhile my taxes just went up.
      • Nice vacation
        Must be nice that the Mayor can take his wife on another Taxpayer sponsored vacation while this city suffers during this economic downturn and our infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Ballard has absolutely no common sense and needs to be replaced in the next election.
      • Taxpayer Funded
        Must be nice to take vacation (so called business trip) to India on taxpayers dime that we will get no benefit & then turna around & says we need to cut expenses - what a two face mayor
      • Free vacation
        With all the hand wringing about a lack of tax revenues to balance the budget, why the junket that is really just a vacation at taxpayers' expense. If all the jobs "created" by Daniels and Ballard were real, there would be no unemployment in Indiana and employers would be advertising in Mexico City to fill all of the openings.

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