New Delhi: Public registration is now open for the “Howdy, Modi” event welcoming India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Houston, Texas on Sunday, September 22. Interested people can register for free at www.howdymodi.org.
A projected crowd of 50,000 is expected to attend and listen to his speech on a resurgent India and a strong US-India partnership at the NRG Stadium in Houston. The event “Howdy, Modi!”, hosted by the Texas India Forum, will include a vibrant cultural program and the much-awaited address by the Prime Minister.
Moreover, in the “Bring A Friend” registration option, people can invite up to four non-Indian friends or neighbors to attend the event. Doors for the event will open at 7:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 10:00 a.m. sharp.
“I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Houston, home to one of the biggest and most vibrant Indian communities in the U.S.,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I know how much his visit means to not only the Indian diaspora in our city but throughout the region. This historic visit will strengthen the already robust bonds between Houston and India on trade, culture, and tourism – all of which benefit every Houstonian.”
“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Indian-Americans in Texas, and as co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, I welcome Prime Minister Modi to Houston,” said U.S. Senator John Cornyn. “India continues to be key security and economic partner of the United States, and I look forward to seeing that relationship strengthen with his visit to Texas.”
Over 39,000 attendees have signed up in the first two weeks alone, and there are more than 1000 volunteers and 650 Welcome Partner organizations. Registration for those with Welcome Partner organization codes has been extended to August 18th as well, as more and more hear about the event. A diverse group of organizations from a wide spectrum of the Indian diaspora here in the United States has mobilized to support the event.
“We want the entire city of Houston to come enjoy the festivities and learn about Indian / Texan relations,” said Jugal Malani, convener of the “Howdy, Modi!” organizing committee.
The event, with the tagline ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’, will shine a light on the tremendous contribution of Indo-Americans in the United States and the strong and lasting partnership between the United States and India. The cultural program preceding the Prime Minister’s address, showcasing Indian-American artists from Texas and elsewhere, will portray how the community is woven into the larger tapestry of American life. It will involve broad-based community participation across the United States.
The Prime Minister’s address is a reflection of the growing economic ties between India and Houston. According to WISERTrade, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Foreign Trade Division, in 2019 (year to date), India is Houston’s 4th largest trading partner just behind Brazil, China, and Mexico. Also this year, Houston-India trade is up 82.2 percent, Houston exports to India are up 106.5 percent, and India exports to Houston up 48.8 percent. Additionally, the Houston-Galveston Customs District is the third busiest gateway for U.S.-India trade (by value). From ’09 to ’18, trade between Houston and India averaged $4.8 billion annually and was valued at $7.2 billion in ’18. More than 92,900 people living in metro Houston were born in India. Thirty-three Houston firms operate 85 subsidiary locations in India, including KBR, National Oilwell Varco, NetIQ/Micro Focus, Oceaneering International and Walter P Moore. Twenty-eight Indian firms operate 28 subsidiaries in the Houston area, including HCL America, JSW Steel, Mahindra USA, Neilsoft and Welspun Global Trade. Trade and cultural relationships with India are facilitated in Houston through the Consulate General of India, and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.
“The future of Texas is inextricably tied to global trade and strategic relations. We welcome Prime Minister Modi to Houston, the most diverse city in the United States that exemplifies Unity in Diversity. As a Texas-wide leadership group focused on a civil discourse on the important policy issues facing our state, we recognize that this visit will be a giant step in further strengthening Texas – India relations on numerous fronts,” said Sanjay Ramabhadran, President of the Texas Lyceum.