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Week-long Kashmir festival being planned in US next year

Washington: A week-long Kashmir festival, the first of its kind is being planned in the US next year which its promoters feel would not only promote tourism but also give boost to the States' economy and acquaint Americans with the rich cultural heritage of the Jammu and Kashmir.

"This will be a festival wherein we would promote Kashmiri handicrafts and Kashmir as a (tourist) destination," Waseem Trumboo, Director Trumboo Industries Pvt Ltd, leader of the first ever business delegation from the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the United States told PTI in an interview.

The delegation had several members of the J & K business community and was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

To be handled by the CII, the week-long Kashmir festival would be held in either Washington DC or New York City possibly in the months of September-October next year, details of which would be out once the delegation is back home, Trumboo said.

A large number of businesses from Jammu and Kashmir are expected to come to the US to attend the festival, which besides showcasing the best of the State, would also help in developing business to business relationships.

On return, Trumboo said, the delegation would submit a set of recommendations to the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, and would request him to come to the US next year to participate in what he termed as the unique Kashmir-festival. "It would help boost our local economy," he said.

During its week-long trip to the US the first ever business delegation from Jammu and Kashmir the CII delegation travelled to Washington, California and Colorado before concluding their trip in New York Monday.

"For us it was more about learning and see what opportunities are here for us," Trumboo said terming it as a great learning experience.

"We got a feel of US economy," he added. The delegation besides meeting US government officials in Washington, wherein they insisted on lifting the American travel restrictions on J & K, they travelled to cities like Aspen in Colorado and had firsthand experience of ski-resorts, which they can explore and implement in their own state.

Trumboo said some of the members of the business delegation expressed their interest in investing in the tourism sector of the United States. "So this is going to be a two-way process," he said.

Following their meeting, the president of the prestigious New York University told them that he will send an official to Jammu and Kashmir early next year to explore the possibility of kind of educational tie up it can have there, he said.

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