Immigration reform. White supremacy rallies. Trade wars. Tariffs. Protectionism. Nationalist rhetoric. Has any of this deterred foreign entrepreneurs from doing business with the United States? Maybe. But for some, it’s just business as usual.
Take India. The giant democracy, according to the United States Trade Representative, is our ninth largest goods trading partner, encompassing a total of almost $68 billion in imports and exports in 2016 – and supporting an estimated 197,000 jobs here. With all the political turmoil here, you might think that some business travelers from India would be deterred. But not so.
As reported by The Hindu, a recent analysis of air travel between our two countries that was conducted by American Express Global Business Travel has shown that the United States remains one of the most popular countries for Indian business travelers. In fact, it’s become even more popular in the past year. Although London is the number one destination for Indian business travelers, San Francisco and New York each rank number two and three respectively, both now outpacing the formerly higher-ranked Singapore. Including Seattle and Chicago, four U.S. cities make up the top 10 destinations for Indian business travel. In fact, if the Asia Pacific Region countries were excluded, seven of the top 10 destinations would be American.
Why so? Where there’s money to made, entrepreneurs will seek it out, regardless of the potential political challenges. The U.S. economy is doing well, particularly our tech sector. The American Express Global Business Travel report forecasts a continued growth in demand for companies and workers skilled in information technology services, including outsourcing.
“India is progressing up the international value chain,” Elyes Mrad, an American Express Global Business Travel managing director, said in The Hindu. The country “has expanded from traditional outsourcing to advanced technology and product development, alongside many other areas of business.”
Mrad also points to the growing Indian start-up culture and the predominance of Indian start-up founders in Silicon Valley.