From left, Mike Kampmeyer, ICC Board, Seann Nelipinath, ICC President/Director, Peter Idusogie, Candidate for Governor, Viren Gori, Design Architect for ICC Global Village Concept drawings, and Hector Garcia, executive director, State Chicano Latino Affairs Council at the State Capitol Monday.
By TOM LAVENTURE
AAP staff writer
ST. PAUL (May 3, 2010) – The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Kick-off event had many community exhibits, and one that drew quite a bit of interest was the India Chamber of Commerce booth – and its ambitious plan to develop an India Global Village and FTZ District in the Twin Cities.
Seann Nelipinath, President and Director of the India Chamber of Commerce in Minneapolis, said the India Global Village is part of the ICC mission to promote business relations with India and other business friendly countries. Its vision is to encourage commerce and help businesses and entrepreneurs succeed in their initiatives by providing leadership, advice, strategic direction, tools and resources to implement, collaborative network, oversight and decision-making.
Nelipinath said the India Global Village is planned for business and economic projects as a major structure with a Free Trade Zone, a designated location that qualifies for special regulatory procedures. To encourage activity in competition with foreign alternatives and FTZ may allow delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings, according to the U.S. Import Administration.
The ICC is currently looking at about five possible sites including four in Inver Grove Heights. They said it is important to be in the metro area and near the airport in particular to be near U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices to expedite zone activity in close contact with local, state or federal governments or agencies.
Nelipinath said project is now in the concept stage with four quadrants that would serve as manufacturing and assembly units for partners that would expand beyond the Indian community. community. There would, however, be a 10-story ancillary and business building with floors designated for states of India to display their projects and products in Minnesota.
“This is a way to target an area to increase jobs and attract business from outside the United States,” said Nelipinath.
Tom Matthew, executive director, ICC, said the project is on a 3 to 5 year timetable, and will require nonprofits, government agencies at all levels, private industry and an international collaboration to succeed.
Rick Aguilar, President & CEO of Aguilar Productions, has organized many annual ethnic minority business events designed to increase contact to new markets. He has long been an advocate and educator on the growth of minority business and buying power in Minnesota.
Aguilar said he is a big proponent of the India Global Village, and said he is excited to see ICC take the lead. He said that more people are now involved in the globalization effort and look to Minnesota as a diverse state and no longer just a general market.
He said now that the minority populations are growing and more influential, it is a time to begin working together on new projects to create synergy among multicultural partners. These partners can go back to the old countries where they have influence and bring in new ideas, he added.
He said the project is enhanced by partnering with other communities and they are currently talking to Hector Garcia, the new director of the State Chicano Latino Affairs Council, and with Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-62).
The Global Village is being designated for Minnesota as the concept was developed by India Chamber of Commerce in Minneapolis. The ICC plans to discuss the project with Indian Ambassador to the United States Meera Shankar during her visit to Minneapolis on May 18, 2010.
Find out more online at www.indiachamber.org.