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Howdy, Modi!: How Houston connects with India

Houston, one of the four major cities in US’ Texas, is all set to hold the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ community summit to honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

At least 50,000 people are expected to attend the event that was fully booked with days to go at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Here’s more about Houston and the state of Texas:

* According to the American Community Survey in 2017, there are more than 130,000 people of Indian origin in the Houston area. More than 92,900 people living in metro Houston were born in India.

* There is a mini India in Houston called Mahatma Gandhi district.

* According to WISERTrade, the US Census Bureau, and the Foreign Trade Division, India is Houston’s fourth-largest trading partner, just behind Brazil, China and Mexico, in 2019 to date. From 2009 to 2018, trade between Houston and India averaged $4.8 billion annually and was valued at $7.2 billion in 2018.

* Houston-India trade is up 82.2%, Houston exports to India are up 106.5%, and India exports to Houston up 48.8%.

* The HoustonGalveston Customs District is the third busiest gateway for US-India trade (by value). From 2009 to 2018, trade between Houston and India averaged $4.8 billion annually and was valued at $7.2 billion in 2018.

* Thirty-three Houston firms operate 85 subsidiary locations in India, including KBR, National Oilwell Varco, NetIQ/Micro Focus, Oceaneering International and Walter P Moore.

* Twenty-eight Indian firms operate subsidiaries in Houston area, including HCL America, JSW Steel, Mahindra USA, Neilsoft and Welspun Global Trade.

* Houston also houses the US headquarters of the three public sector undertakings; ONGC Videsh Ltd, Oil India Ltd and Gail Global USA.

* Texas accounts for around 10% of India-US trade. About $ 7 billion or Rs 45,000 crore worth of good and commodities moved between India and Texas in 2017. Trade growth rates have increased only by 7% between 2013 and 2017.

* Foreign direct investments from Texas accounts for about 20% of cumulative US FDI into India during the period 2011-16. Texas companies have invested about $3 billion in India in these five years.

* There is also a significant and growing flow of FDI from India to Texas. during January 2011-March 2016 is a total capital investment of $363.70 million. According to a survey done by “Business in Texas”, this direct investment was generated through 19 projects with 16 companies and resulted in the creation of 6,317 jobs in Texas.

* Among the major Indian companies who have established their US headquarters in Texas include Mahindra USA, Larsen and Toubro, Wipro Ltd, Reliance Holdings and Infosys.

* GAIL has a 20% “working interest” stake in Texas-based hydrocarbon company Carrizo’s assets in the Eagle Ford shale formation. It paid $ 63 million for this stake in 2011. It also has a 20-year contract with Texas-based Cheniere Inc to procure 3.5 million tonnes per annum (worth approximately US$1 billion) of LNG.

* Oil India (USA) Inc has also entered into a purchase and participation agreement with Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc and one of its affiliates to acquire a 20% working interest in shale gas properties located in the Niobrara Formation area in Weld, Morgan, and Adams counties of Colorado.

* With 24,762 students, the major concentration of Indian students is in Texas. The universities with the largest numbers of Indian students are the University of Houston and University of Texas at Austin.

* University of Houston has an India Studies Center. The University of Texas at Austin has a South Asia Institute that has a major focus on India.

* Indians occupy senior positions as faculties in universities in this area. The University of Houston and the University of Texas at Arlington are headed by distinguished Indian origin academics. Dr Renu Khator, President, University of Houston is the member of the Empowered Expert Committee which is selecting Indian Universities for “Institute of Eminence” status.

* Judge KP George was elected as the County Judge of Fort Bend County in Greater Houston in December 2018. He is highest elected Indian origin American to in the state of Texas. “Sri” Kulkarni was the Democratic candidate for US Congress against US Representative Pete Olson. Janak Joshi was elected to the Colorado state legislature and served on it for about five years. Usha Reddi was elected to the Manhattan City Commission in Kansas for a four-year term from April 2013. Ken Mathews is a member of the City Council in Stafford, Texas.

* Judge Ravi Sandill has served as Judge of the 127th Civil District Court in Harris County for three consecutive terms. Juli Mathew has been elected as the Judge for Fort Bend County Court #3.

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