While the interest of U.S. companies in India is at an all time high, close relations between the two countries stretch back over centuries.  “The Star Spangled Banner” even was written on a ship made in India, Harry Cahill, a former U.S. consul general to Bombay who now heads the Washington D.C. office of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), told attendees of an Atlanta conference promoting U.S.-India investments.

Speaking at the conference featuring an IACC delegation of two dozen Indian businessmen at the SwissÙtel Atlanta  April 27, Mr. Cahill also referred to a thriving ice trade from New England to India dating back to the 18th century.  He stressed that the historical relationship is growing in today’s global economy and he encouraged small-to-medium sized companies to set up global trade alliances with Indian companies.

He disparaged Britain’s relationship with India, saying that the British destroyed indigenous businesses during the colonial period and exploited the country’s natural resources.

The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is establishing a strategic alliance with IACC, the largest bilateral chamber of commerce in India that includes more than 3,000 members from all economic sectors. “Through the IACC our members can have direct contact with potential business partners in India,” said Pepe Cummings, vice president of the chamber’s international department.  “They also indicated some interest in investing in Atlanta.”

Atlanta companies at the conference included  Arthur Andersen, BellSouth, Capricorn Systems, Milliken Carpets, NationsBank, Portman Overseas, ReUse Technology, United Promotions, and the Viscount Group.

For more information, Mr. Cummings may be reached at (404) 586-8462.  Ram Sidhaye, the local representative of the IACC, may be reached by calling (404) 395-6838; fax, (404) 395-0256.