Bera sees local opportunities after India trip
U.S. Rep. Dr. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) and Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé said last month’s trip to India with President Barack Obama could bring economic benefits to the Sacramento region.
Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi announced they reached a civil nuclear agreement and agreed to a defense cooperation including the joint building of equipment.
Bera said the recommitment to a 10-year defense pact could open opportunities for local companies including Aerojet Rocketdyne in Rancho Cordova to build that equipment.
“The nuclear deal makes billions of dollars in trade possible for U.S. companies that want to build and invest in India. That creates jobs in the U.S. and helps grow our economy,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re protecting American jobs. We have to be conscious of that.”
He added, “There is a framework that was created.”
Bera said he met with chief executive officers of Indian companies and the Indian equivalent of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said a goal is to bring those CEOs to the Sacramento region.
“We want them to see all of the advantages that we have here in Sacramento,” he said. “Let’s get those CEOs to see what we have to offer here.”
Obama said in New Delhi during the last day of the trip that his visit “reflects the possibilities of a new moment” that could include a growing partnership.
“America wants to be your partner as you lift up the lives of the Indian people and provide greater opportunities,” he said in a video posted on the White House website. “When we look at each other we see a reflection of ourselves.”
Ranadivé joined more than 10 presidents and CEOs of companies including MasterCard, the Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo as part of the delegation.
“During a private dinner with Obama and Modi, I had a chance to express my deep commitment to supporting Sacramento businesses and creating any opportunity to grow in the world’s largest democracy,” Ranadivé wrote in an article first published in The Sacramento Bee.
He also wrote, “I believe there is great opportunity to expand Sacramento’s economic and cultural reach into India and South Asia. The Sacramento community is on the verge of going through an economic renaissance, greatly expanding our region’s business footprint and revitalizing neighborhoods.”
Bera, the only Indian American in Congress, said he was one of four members of Congress on the trip.
He said that during his flight to India on Air Force One – which he called a rare honor, especially since it was a foreign trip – the second-term Congressman thought about his parents immigrating to the United States from India in the 1950s.
“In many ways, they should share in this as well,” Bera said.