Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Monday took up with US commerce secretary John Bryson the high rejection rate of Indian professionals' work visa applications. Sharma said the matter of H1 and L1 visas was discussed at the meeting. "There have been concerns over the high rejection rate.
Last year, the number of US visas issued to Indian professionals declined by 28 per cent. We had a frank discussion, including on some issues on which the US has concerns," Sharma told journalists after the meeting. "We are engaged in a very important economic partnership. We have collaborations on high-end technology and innovation. There are strong investments that Indian entities have made in the US. The US is also a major investor in India," Sharma added.
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The US, however, is looking for greater access to Indian markets. Bryson said high tariffs on many American products and measures that interfere with US sourcing decisions in areas such as IT, electronics and solar energy were a barrier for better economic ties between the two countries.
At the interaction between the 16-member US Infrastructure Mission and Indian business leaders, organised by the Ficci, Bryson said: "India's trillion-dollar commitment to infrastructure over the next five years is both ambitious and admirable. This includes as many as 600 major projects, with a strong emphasis on public-private partnership."
US companies are seeking to collaborate with Indian firms to help pave roads, lay rails, build airports and bring energy to people throughout India. Such a partnership in building India's infrastructure "can provide opportunities and improve the quality of life for millions of people", he said.
Bryson, on his first outing with a trade mission since he took over as commerce secretary, has chosen to visit India.
He also announced the renewal of the USIndia Commercial Dialogue for two years. Through this dialogue, "we'll seek to expand into new areas of engagement on smart grids, intelligent transportation systems and sustainable manufacturing", he said.
Courtesy: Mail Today