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“The skill base of the people here is the strongest attraction for U.S. companies, not cheap labour”
The Indian presence in the United States is large
CHENNAI: There is every reason to expect continuity in the close relations that developed between India and the United States in the past few years, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Andrew T. Simkin said here on Wednesday.
Speaking at a business meeting organised by the Tamil Nadu State Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he said that on the economic level there is much scope for strengthening ties. He spoke on ‘Indo-U.S. relations in the post U.S. elections scenario.’
“The skill base of the people here is the strongest attraction for U.S. companies, not cheap labour. The fact that some U.S. companies located their research and development centres here proves this. The rich talent pool here is only growing, given the demographics that show a large percentage of young people,” Mr. Simkin explained.
Responding to the Indian worries regarding U.S. outsourcing activities, Mr.Simkin said that the president-elect Barack Obama and his team understand the economic advantages of outsourcing.
“But the public anxiety about the moving of jobs abroad grows, now many jobs in the U.S. are lost,” he added.
Vice-president (Marketing & Strategy) at Satyam Computers Services Ltd. Asit K.Barma had said that outsourcing to India is inevitable.
“There are billions of dollars at stake. Obama cannot stop that,” he said.
Advisor to the president of FICCI P. Murari added to this that there is no need for concern regarding outsourcing on the side of the U.S. “Research by FICCI suggests that there are actually more jobs created in the U.S. through Indian investments than the number of jobs lost as a result of outsourcing. It is a two-way traffic,” he said.
Besides economic relations, Mr. Simkin was very positive about people to people relations. With more than half a million Indian visa applications last year, 83,000 Indian students in the U.S. and 2.5 million U.S. citizens from Indian origin, the Indian presence in the United States is large.
Other potential areas of growth in Indo-U.S. cooperation that were mentioned during the meeting were global warming and scientific research, while Mr. Murari also pointed out the Indian worry on what the US stance on Indo-Pak relations will be.
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