A delegation from the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) — under the government of India — visited Lubbock, Texas to learn more about technological advancements in the cotton industry. The star of the show was the cotton-based oil absorbent wipe developed by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University. The wipe uses low micronaire cotton that is ideal for clean up after an oil spill. Micronaire is the measure of cotton’s fineness and maturity, so a low micronaire indicates that the cotton has a thin, immature fiber. Since low micronaire cotton often breaks during manufacturing and does not hold dye well, it is often discounted. But this breakthrough technology allows low micronaire cotton to benefit the environment in the event of an oil spill. The CCI delegate from India’s largest cotton growing state commented that this new wipe will result in the industrial utilization of low micronaire cotton, creating new opportunities for the cotton industry in India.
Since 11% of India’s export earning is based on textiles, cotton is very important in the Indian economy. The textile industry makes up 5% of India’s total GDP and by 2021 is presumed to reach $223 billion.
Texan goods and services exports to India is the third largest in the United States, valued at over $3.5 billion. Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited India earlier this year on a business development mission, where he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen relations between Texas and India. Additionally there was discussions with other officials regarding direct flights between India and Texas, energy trade, and business opportunities.
Trade with India has added almost 20,000 jobs to Texas since 2016, contributing to the already thriving Texas economy. A report from last year highlighted that New Jersey, Texas, California, New York, and Georgia received the most jobs because of Indian companies and another report showed that the Texas has received the most Indian investment out of all the 50 states. Earlier this year one of India’s largest IT companies, Wipro, created 150 of its planned 600 jobs in Plano, Texas along with the 1,400 jobs it has already created in Dallas and Houston.
Celine Mahne is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a third-year undergraduate student at the George Washington University studying International Affairs, concentrating in Security Policy and minoring in Korean.