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Posted on Sep 28, 2018 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The State of Hawaii and Goa, India, signed an agreement to enter into a sister-state relationship today.

Gov. David Y. Ige, signed a historic agreement with delegates from Goa, a state in India, which is Hawaii’s first sister-state relationship with a jurisdiction in India. The Director of Art and Culture, Gurudas Pilarnekar, signed on behalf of the Goa state government.

The signing ceremony took place at Washington Place.

The agreement will promote trade, tourism, information technology; and exchange of health and wellness, agriculture, culinary art, education and cultural programs between private sector organizations and universities of both states.

“The U.S.-India partnership is an important one, and the Hawaii-Goa relationship will help strengthen this bond. We welcome people from Goa to invest in Hawaii’s economy, and share their traditional and cultural values with us,” said Gov. Ige.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard met with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and political leaders of Goa during her visit to India in December 2014. Congresswoman Gabbard said, “I shared my vision with the Goa representatives to establish a sister-state relationship between Goa and Hawaii. I am overjoyed that this relationship is coming to fruition for both Hawaii and Goa are exemplary places of peace and tranquility.”

Dr. Raj Kumar, President of Indian-America Friendship Council (Hawaii chapter) and Gandhi International Institute for Peace, State Sen. Brian Taniguchi and State Rep. Ken Ito were also instrumental in passing legislation for this relationship.

Dr. Kumar stated, “This historic agreement represents a mutual commitment to begin a fruitful relationship that will promote the economic, educational and cultural development of two great states. This affiliation will unite the people of Goa and Hawaii.”

“Our new sister-state relationship allows Hawaii to advance business, academic and cultural areas, and engage with the world to increase economic opportunities for Hawaii,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria

Sen. Taniguchi noted that, “India is not only the world’s largest democracy, but it also has one of the fastest growing economies. Educational and intellectual exchanges between our schools and institutions of higher learning can greatly benefit from this relationship.”

Rep. Ito added, “I look forward to Hawaii developing more business and cultural linkages with Goa, India, for the benefit of both. India’s rich heritage fits well in the fabric of Hawaii’s rich mix of cultures.”

“Hawaii’s sister-state relationship with Goa, India, serves to facilitate greater foreign investment between the two states and increased opportunities for mutual economic, educational, tourism and cultural exchanges,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii president & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “We look forward to exploring the possibilities of this new collaborative agreement.”

About Goa, India:

• Goa’s per capita GDP is one of the highest in India, a country that currently boasts the third largest GDP in the world.
• Goa has a growing market for US food and retail products, with imports of US agricultural food products doubling in 2015 to $20.6 million.
• Goa is a top tourist population globally (7,785,693 visitors in 2017), known for its beaches, abundant seafood, tropical climate, and historic architecture, which has also attracted film opportunities.
• Goa has many multinational companies with offices in the state covering various sectors like fisheries, pharmaceuticals, information technology, tourism, and hospitality.
• Goa’s biodiversity is rich and is home to thousands of species ranging from plants, animals, and marine life.
• Hawaiʻi’s agreement with Goa highlights the continued growth of US-India relationships, with the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue concluding earlier this month.
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Media Contacts:

Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]