MUMBAI (TIP): US is considering increasing the number of temporary visas and availability of Green Cards to highly skilled Indians, Joe Biden, the first US vice-president to visit India in three decades, said in his address to India Inc in the financial capital on Jukly 24. Biden, who sought a greater cooperation between the two countries to boost trade and investments five-fold, acknowledged the contribution of Indian expatriates to America’s growth story.
“The US has benefited due to Indian human capital,” said Biden. He pointed out that Indians received more skilledworker visas to the United States than any other country in the world. “And the legislation our Congress is considering increases the number of temporary visas and Green Cards availability for highly skilled Indians to come work in the United States,” the 47th vice-president of US said while addressing the industry gathering at theBombay Stock Exchange.
In a 40-minute speech which was interspersed with lighter moments, Biden said, “Our bilateral trade has increased five-fold to touch $100 billion in the last 13 years. We see tremendous opportunity and there is no reason that if our countries make the right choices, trade cannot grow five-fold or more,” he said. Making a strong case for India to further open up its economy in a serious bid to attract more foreign investment, Biden, said, “A young Indian woman graduating from IIT-Bombay who wants to start the next Tata Motors should be able to buy the best technology and parts, wherever in the world they come from — as her competitors around the world are able to do.”
However, Biden said, a lot more is needed to remove trade barriers. “We still have a lot of work to do on a wide range of issues, including limit in FDI, inconsistent tax system, barriers to market access, civil nuclear cooperation, bilateral investment treaty and policies protecting innovations,” said Biden.
Biden later addressed India Inc at the Taj Mahal hotel too in south Mumbai. While assuring US support for India’s candidacy for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Biden said, “That’s why yesterday, on behalf of the President Obama, I invited Prime Minister Singh to make a visit to Washington at the end of September.” India has been vying for a permanent seat in UNSC along with Japan, Brazil and Germany.
On India’s military needs, Biden pointed out how cargo aircraft C-130s that US had sold to India were now saving the lives of flood victims in Uttarakhand. Biden also called by a greater cooperation between India, China and US. “We are three big nations — China, India and the United States — with our own perspectives. We have significant common interests. All three of us and the entire region would benefit if we coordinated more closely,” said Biden.