Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she believes her trip to India will eventually lead to job announcements in South Carolina.
“Anytime we do an economic development trip, you’re starting relationships and starting conversations,” Haley told reporters during a conference call from Mumbai. “Without question, I know that… we will be closing (on) jobs over the next several months.”
Haley and seven other delegation members (including two staffers, state Parks, Recreation, and Tourism director Duane Parrish, Department of Commerce officials, and Haley’s husband Michael) will be finishing the 10-day economic development trip on Friday. The Commerce Department estimated last week the trip would cost roughly $50,000.
The governor was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, although her parents Ajit and Raj Randhawa emigrated to the U.S. from India in the early 1960s. It was the first time Haley had been to her parent’s home country since she was two years old.
“To come here, it really was emotional and overwhelming to now put the real picture to those stories that they told me about (India),” she said. “Whenever you think about where your parents grew up and all that they sacrificed and gave up to come to America to have a better life for their kids… they left their home. They left all that they know for the great opportunities of America.”
Haley said her delegation has had a busy schedule. Besides Mumbai, they spent several days in her parents’ native Punjab region, along with meetings and appearances in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Amritsar, and Chennai. The governor, the first Indian-American woman elected to that position anywhere in the U.S., is a mild political celebrity in the world’s second-most populated country.
Haley also met with Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.