California is proud to host more than 10% of all Indians studying in the United States
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and the Indian-American community have urged the Indian government to open a consulate in the second-largest US city and the entertainment capital of the world.
“I ask that you consider the City of Los Angeles for a new Indian Consulate. It would be my honor to work with you to open and provide continued support for this important platform for engagement and exchange,” Bass wrote in a recent letter to India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
With more than 100,000 Indian visitors to Los Angeles every year, a consulate will not only provide important services but become a key partner to expand bilateral cooperation, she said.
“We are proud to host 94 foreign missions as part of our diplomatic corps, and my Office of International Affairs is dedicated to deepening our engagement with partners around the world,” she said.
“As the second largest city in the United States and home to more than 150,000 Indian Americans, I respectfully request you choose Los Angeles to host a new consular mission,” Bass said.
“With the largest port complex in the Western Hemisphere, thousands of start-ups and the third largest venture capital market in the United States, and a slate of international sporting and entertainment events scheduled over the next decade including the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I am excited by endless opportunities to strengthen ties between Los Angeles and India,” the Mayor said.
While acknowledging the important work of the Indian Consul General in San Francisco, she said 23 countries maintain consulates in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Twelve G20 countries have consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco and an additional five G20 countries have consulates solely in Los Angeles,” she said.
“California is proud to host more than 10% of all Indians studying in the United States, and we value the bridges they create between our communities,” Bass said.
Gunjana Bagla, an eminent Indian-American from Los Angeles, who has launched an online campaign on the matter, said Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the US without having an Indian consulate.
“We in the community feel that having a local consul general would be useful and beneficial not only to the Indian-American community but also to the business community at large,” said Bagla.
“Over 40% of all trade in the United States goes through the twin LA/Long Beach harbors. As a top five economy it is embarrassing for India to not have a diplomatic mission in such an important location,” said the online petition signed by more than 3,600 Indian Americans.
Currently, there are five Indian consulates in the US in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta. During the State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, it was announced that India would open two new consulates in the US, one of which would be in Seattle.