India Inc expects the U.S President’s re-election to strengthen economic ties

National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) President Som Mittal said the domestic software services industry expected U.S President Barack Obama, who was re-elected on Tuesday, to make “comprehensive changes in U.S. immigration policies, which will address the shortage of people with IT skills in the U.S.” “The electoral dynamics are different from the reality on the ground,” he remarked, addressing reporters on the sidelines of the industry body’s Product Conclave.

Mr. Mittal said the U.S. Government needed to consider the option of a service visa, as countries such as India, Germany and the U.K did. This would enable people to travel to the U.S. on work more easily, he said.

$5 b investment in the U.S.

Mr. Mittal said the IT service companies had been employing more locals onsite in the U.S. and elsewhere because it was in line with their business requirements. “Companies need to do this to get closer to their customers,” he observed. “Almost all permanent jobs in these companies in the U.S. are now with local citizens,’’ he added. The anti-outsourcing rhetoric had been tamed by these developments. Indian IT companies had invested about $5 billion in the U.S., he claimed.

Mr. Mittal expressed the hope that Mr. Obama would address the issues of growth and job creation. “The health of the U.S. economy is important for the global economy. India and the U.S. have a lot to do together on many issues, including addressing issues related to cyber security,” he added. Mr. Obama ‘inherited a very difficult situation four years ago,” he said.

Asked about the anti-outsourcing rhetoric in the U.S., Mr. Mittal said, “We are the solution to many of the problems the U.S. faces, including making it more competitive.” The outsourcing of jobs from the U.S. was more in manufacturing than in the IT services industry, he said. He expressed the hope that the U.S. Congress, during Mr. Obama’s next term, would offer constructive help to him to implement many of the changes he plans.

N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services, expressed the hope that Indian companies would have the “opportunity to play a significant role to partner with U.S. companies,” following Mr. Obama’s re-election.

HCL Technologies, in a statement issued on Wednesday, expressed the hope that Mr. Obama’s re-election would “uplift business sentiment” and lead to “economic resurgence” in the U.S.

Our Special Correspondent from New Delhi adds:

India Inc expressed optimism that Mr. Obama’s second term would further strengthen strategic and economic ties with India.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry President R. V. Kanoria said that the support would foster co-operation in spheres such as higher education, defence, nuclear and agriculture. Hoping that the U.S. President would take a practical stand on issues such as outsourcing, Mr. Kanoria said that it not only brought down the cost of industry there but also helped create more jobs there.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Adi Godrej stressed the need to lower trade and investment barriers to ensure growth of business in both countries.

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