Indian Companies Investing Billions across the US

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by Nate Schlabach
The Indian Ambassador to the United States Arun Singh (fifth from left), stands with members of Congress and officials from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the Capitol Hill launch of the CII report on Indian investment. Image: Embassy of India in Washington D.C.

Indian firms are investing billions of dollars in the United States across a wide range of sectors, creating thousands of American jobs. According to a recent survey by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Grant Thornton, 100 firms have made 15 billion dollars’ worth of tangible investments across 35 states, creating more than 91,000 American jobs.  

Texas, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota are the three states seeing the largest amount of foreign direct investment from India. The Lone Star State received the largest sum of $3.8 billion while Pennsylvania collected nearly $3.5 billion and Minnesota gained $1.8 billion. As a result, over 12,000 local jobs have been created in the three states.

The largest number of jobs were created in New Jersey (9,278), California (8,937), and Texas (6,230). Further job creation remains likely as more than 90% of the companies surveyed say they plan to hire additional local employees in the next five years.

More than a one-third of the money coming into the US is going to the IT sector according to the survey. Other industries receiving major investment include the life sciences, pharmaceuticals, health care, as well as the mining, materials, and manufacturing category. Investments in the US from India are growing steadily. In fact, in the last five years India has been the fourth fastest source of foreign direct investment in the US, while Chinese investment has been the fastest. Some 362 investment projects have been announced by Indian firms between January 2003 and October of 2014.

Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, sees the importance of a thriving commercial exchange between countries “It is critical that we recognize the positive impact of Indian business investments in the country. In Virginia, Indian companies have been key players in creating jobs and engaging communities. I hope to see this trend continue in the future, with increased Indian business operations in the country.” 

The US-India relationship rejuvenated in recent years. Barack Obama became the first US president to visit India twice while in office and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to the US in September 2014, which led to a “reset” of ties between countries. New collaborations on military research projects, several tech partnerships between US and Indian companies, and cooperation on new space ventures have also been announced in recent years.

Nate Schlabach is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a recent graduate of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.