State by State: India and Virginia Trade

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In 2014, exports from Virginia to India were worth a total of US $229.97 billion, or 1.06 percent of total U.S. Exports to India. Over the past decade, exports from Virginia have increased a total of 284.6 percent. Virginia’s top exports include defense and military equipment, tobacco, soybeans, circuit boards and printer parts, while its top imports include printer parts, tricycles & toys, coffee, rubber and vehicle parts.

Virginia is home to two of the Washington DC Metro area’s key airports (Dulles and Reagan) as well as an international airport in Richmond. Virginia also has the fifth busiest port in the United States at Hampton Roads near the cities of Norfolk, Hampton and Virginia Beach.

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Investment Opportunities

Tobacco Products

Virginia is well known as the home of Altria Group (formerly known at Philip Morris Industries), one of the world’s largest tobacco corporations. The group contracts many local farmers that are involved in the tobacco industry. India still remains one of the world’s largest tobacco markets with 34.6 percent of its population daily users. In addition to conventional cigarettes and bidis (Indian unfiltered cigarettes), tobacco in India is often consumed orally through paan leaves and small packages of chewing tobacco often mixed with areca nut and other flavorings.

Although globally the tobacco industry has shrunk, the industry remains quite strong and profitable in India. Furthermore, as India’s population continues to grow, long-term investment in tobacco products can continue to provide incentives, especially as a vast portion of its population reaches teenage years, when many begin to use such products. While Western tobacco usage has declined, India still remains a relatively safe and lucrative location for tobacco investment.

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Military Equipment

Northern Virginia is home to both the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence industry. Many local companies in the region, such as Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton, serve primarily as defense contractors. Under the current administration, the Indian government has been far more aggressive in the acquisition of military weaponry from external sources.

In the 2014-2015 FY, India will spend 11 percent of total government expenditure on defense. High-level defense technologies and strategies will continue to be of necessity to the Indian economy. In order to compete with the rest of the globe, India will undoubtedly continue to increase spending its military sector and therefore provide more opportunities to defense-industry based investors.

Tax Treaty – U.S. Trade with India

The U.S. has signed a Double Tax Treaty with India. This can reduce tax burdens under certain circumstances in both trade and any India legal establishment. Please seek professional advice for specific India investment requirements.

Further Support from Dezan Shira & Associates

Dezan Shira & Associates can service Virginia-based companies that are looking to develop their Asia operations. The firm can help companies establish a direct office in the region and can guide them through the affiliated tax, legal and HR issues that come with doing so. To arrange a free consultation, please contact our U.S. office at

For further Virginia-Asia trade data, please see our related article on trade with China.

About Us

Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email or visit

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