Fri., January 6, 2012 2:31pm (EST)

India Opens Georgia Consulate
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Ajit Kumar, the first-ever Consul General of India in Atlanta, is shown in this photo from a visit he made at Emory University's Halle Institute in October 2011.  Mr. Kumar announced the consulate's opening with Gov. Nathan Deal.  (photo Wilford Harewood/The Halle Institute)
Ajit Kumar, the first-ever Consul General of India in Atlanta, is shown in this photo from a visit he made at Emory University's Halle Institute in October 2011. Mr. Kumar announced the consulate's opening with Gov. Nathan Deal. (photo Wilford Harewood/The Halle Institute)
The government of India is opening a new consulate to serve the southeastern U.S.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Consul General of India Ajit Kumar announced the opening.

In addition to Georgia, the office in Atlanta will serve Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"This marks a significant milestone in Georgia’s international evolution," Deal says. "The Consulate General is the crowning symbol of the dynamic business and cultural connections India shares with our region and state."

The consulate will serve the approximately 100,000 Indian nationals living in Georgia and roughly 290,000 across the Southeast with services such as visas, passports and other documents.

It also will help facilitate Georgia's surging business with India.

Figures from the Georgia Department of Economic Development show that the state exported $562 million worth of goods to India in 2010.

That was a 35% increase over 2009.

Georgia is the 10th largest exporter to India among U.S. states.

Kumar previously served as the Indian consul general in Frankfurt, Germany, and Durban, South Africa and as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Zimbabwe.