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Washington attracts Indian startups to set shop

The US officials highlighted that Washington State does not have a personal or corporate income tax or taxes on capital gains

Anita Babu & Itika Sharma Punit  |  Bengaluru 

State does not have a personal or corporate income or taxes on Businesses in the state have attracted investments of $1.2 billion in 2014, of which 44% were in software

At a time when several Indian startups are struggling due to taxation and fund raising norms in India, a two-member team from State Department of Commerce on Tuesday engaged with startups in Bengaluru to promote Seattle as an alternative destination for Indian entrepreneurs to set shops.

Among other things, the state officials highlighted that State does not have a personal or corporate income or taxes on Additionally, businesses in the state have attracted investments of $1.2 billion in 2014, of which 44 per cent were in software, 16.3 per cent in biotech, 14 per cent in media and entertainment, and 6.3 per cent in information (IT) services.

“There are several reasons why we are holding this talk in Bengaluru. Firstly, we have a really strong community in Washington State,” said Mary Trimarco, assistant director, Washington Department of Commerce. “There are a lot of alignments between the sectors that we have in Seattle and those that are there in Bengaluru.”

House to over 70,000 Indians, Washington State is the third largest exporter to India among the states.

According to the latest data, between January and November 2014, Washington State's exports to India were valued at $1.9 billion. In 2013, Washington State exported over $2.2 billion worth of goods to India, driven largely by the aerospace sector. The American state also exports vegetables, fruit & nuts, paper products, medical instruments, industrial machinery, wood pulp, electric machinery, chemicals, and mineral fuel and oil, to India.

Between January and November 2014, Washington state's imports from India were valued at $422 million, while they were at $374 million in 2013.

Over 200 companies in the state do business with India, Trimarco highlighted. Among others, Washington State houses the headquarters of Microsoft, and offices of companies such as, Boeing, Columbia Asia, InBios, Itron, Pacific Biomarkers, and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Several Indian companies, such as HCL Technologies, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Zomato, Sonata, Tech Mahindra and Mindtree have offices and facilities in Washington.

Highlighting the advantages of Seattle over Silicon Valley, which is the world's largest hub of startups, the officials said the area was comparatively more affordable in terms of real estate and energy prices.

First Published: Tue, February 17 2015. 20:22 IST