Jan 26, 2024 - News

Texas governor, Dallas-Fort Worth officials visit India

Dallas' Arun Agarwal (left) is part of the state's delegation to India as vice chair of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. Photo: Courtesy of Abbott's office

Dallas' Arun Agarwal, left, is part of the state's delegation to India as vice chair of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. Photo: Courtesy of Abbott's office

Gov. Greg Abbott and several North Texas officials have spent the week in India with business leaders from Austin and around the state to boost trade and investment in Texas.

Why it matters: Abbott, who recently visited Israel, continues to blaze an international trail as he fashions himself as a global leader, joined by business leaders from Texas' major metros to highlight the state's economic strength.

Driving the news: Abbott began his 10-day trip on Jan. 19 to meet India's government and technology leaders. It's his second trip to India as governor.

The big picture: India holds the gaze of global corporations as they look for new sources of labor and revenue growth outside of China, writes Axios' Hope King.

Zoom in: Several business and economic development representatives from North Texas are accompanying Abbott on the trip, including Dallas Park and Recreation Board president Arun Agarwal, Mike Rosa of the Dallas Regional Chamber and Diana Velazquez of the Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.

  • On the second day of his trip, Abbott gifted jerseys from the Grand Prairie-based Texas Super Kings and Dallas Wolves to the Mumbai Cricket Association. He said the teams have been a boon to Texas' growing economy, and will bring new investments and tourism to the state.

Of note: The Texas Economic Development Corporation, an independently funded nonprofit that markets and promotes Texas as a "premier business location," is funding the trip.

Between the lines: Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, said trips like these raise the profile of both the governor and state.

  • "That means the expanded political footprint and the ability to generate potential economic interest. It's for him, but it's also for the state," Rottinghaus said.

What we're watching: Abbott's latest international trips come amid speculation that he could be eyeing higher office.

  • "There's no question that any governor of Texas is thinking big," Rottinghaus said.
  • But Abbott campaign consultant Dave Carney previously shrugged off the possibility of Abbott joining a presidential ticket, telling Axios in November: "Zero thought on that, and I doubt he would consider it even for a minute."
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