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Selling New Hampshire products overseas will create jobs, boost state economy

(Manchester, NH)- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, along with the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, today toured local businesses and met with a number of New Hampshire business leaders. Shaheen and Shankar discussed the economic benefits of trade and investment ties between New Hampshire and India and the need to maintain open trade lines. Shankar is visiting New Hampshire at Shaheen's invitation.  They visited ARC Energy in Nashua, GT Solar in Merrimack, and the Amoskeag Business Incubator (ABI) in Manchester.

"Exporting New Hampshire products and services to international markets will help the state's economy grow during these difficult times. Most importantly, increasing sales will help companies create jobs here in New Hampshire," said Shaheen. "Starting to export can be especially challenging for small- and medium- sized businesses, and I'm hopeful that Ambassador Shankar's visit to New Hampshire will build stronger ties between businesses here and trade officials in India." 

"Meeting with business leaders is an important way to maintain and expand trade opportunities between New Hampshire and India," said Shankar. "I am glad Senator Shaheen invited me to visit New Hampshire, introduced me to some of the state's innovative businesses, and I am looking forward to sharing what I've learned with my colleagues at the Embassy in Washington and in India."

New Hampshire trade officials report that export activity supports more than 40,000 jobs in New Hampshire. Despite being the largest democracy in the world and sharing many of the same open-market principles as the U.S., India only ranks as New Hampshire's 26th largest trading partner.  In 2009, New Hampshire sold approximately $17 million in goods to India.

"ARC Energy's trade with India will allow us to increase our revenues and create jobs here in Nashua. Senator Shaheen and Ambassador Shankar's visit today is a great opportunity to find ways to expand our relationship," said Kedar P. Gupta, CEO of ARC Energy.

"GT Solar was honored to have India's Ambassador to the United States and Senator Shaheen visit our company.  The relationship between New Hampshire and India is growing, including the clean energy technology industry, and this visit from the Ambassador will contribute to that," said Fred Kocher, Senior Advisor to GT Solar.

"As the world economy becomes increasingly global, it is more important than ever that New Hampshire be an inviting place for international businesses that are seeking market opportunities in the United States, which is why ABI, over the next couple of years, will be focusing its efforts on becoming a Soft Landing's International designated Incubator.  With this in mind, we could not be more thrilled to have Senator Shaheen and Ambassador Shankar of India visiting ABI particularly given the important relationship between our two countries" said Julie Gustafson, CEO of ABI.

Since joining the Senate, Shaheen has cosponsored legislation to strengthen SBA programs that assist small exporters by improving access to capital by raising the loan limits and guarantees on the SBA export loan programs, among other things. Shaheen has also cosponsored legislation to strengthen the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and to help businesses compete globally by expanding the scope of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program and the Technology Innovation Program to include projects that have potential in international markets. Last month, Shaheen hosted the Granite State Export Fair, which brought together state and federal trade officials and other resources to help New Hampshire businesses access new markets.

Shaheen was the first New Hampshire Governor to lead a trade mission overseas. The four trade missions she led during her six years as Governor resulted in $500 million in projected sales for New Hampshire businesses. As Governor, Shaheen significantly increased the state's investment in the International Trade Resource Center, which offers New Hampshire companies one-stop shopping for a wide range of services to help them develop new markets for their products and services.