New Delhi: US state Washington on Thursday sought Indian investments in sectors like IT, pharmaceuticals and life sciences to increase bilateral trade between the two sides.

Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, who is leading a business delegation to India, said the two-way commerce is low between the two sides.

"We find that India is the 24th largest trading partner with our state. We think it is way too low. We think it should be at least in the top five. My visit here is to make sure that we can make that happen," Gregoire said at a CII function here.

She said that businessmen of both the sides can increase cooperation in areas like IT, pharmaceuticals, aviation, life sciences, biotechnology and agriculture.

"We have one of the vibrant IT and software sector in the world. This is an opportunity for India," she added.

She also said that Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks will open its first store in India by end of this month.

"Now it (Starbucks) is located everywhere around the globe and it will open its first Starbucks here in India at the end of the month," Gregoire said.

Meanwhile, industry body CII and The Washington State Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Intent to facilitate direct foreign investment.

The department is a cabinet agency of the State of Washington tasked with facilitating business investment in the State in order to create jobs, spur economic growth and promote the competitiveness of Washington.

The memorandum was signed in the presence of Gregoire, and CII President-designate Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Both CII and Washington State Department of Commerce will act as a central point of contact for existing and potential foreign investors in each other’s countries.


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