Andrew T. Simkin , Consul General, U.S.Consulate , Chennai , speaking at a programme in Coimbatore on Thursday. The United States of America is strong on strengthening free trade, economic co-operation and bilateral ties with India, said US Consul-General in Chennai Andrew T Simkin on Thursday. Mr. Simkin told reporters, after addressing members of the South India Engineering Manufacturers Association (SIEMA) on “Engineering Services Outsourcing-Opportunities and Challenges” organised by SIEMA in association with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), that the U.S. was eagerly waiting for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The volume of trade between the two countries was $ 44 billion and the same was expected to double over the next five years, he said. However, Mr. Simkin noted that the growth might not be to the expected levels this fiscal because of the global slowdown. He said the commerce department had identified promising areas for the U.S. firms to step in which included computer and peripherals, education services, electricity and transmission equipment, food processing, mining and minerals, coal and gas, retails and franchising.
He said Indo-U.S. relationship had been on a strong growth trajectory and there were a lot of resources and areas for co-operation on which the countries could work together. To a query on the perception that Mr. Obama was against outsourcing, Mr. Simkin said the economic team and even the President had reiterated the strong support for free trade and no roll back on the same. The U.S. was also keen on working for harnessing the brain power in both the countries on areas such as science and technology. Stating that the U.S. wanted people from India to visit the U.S. he said the visa granting procedures have been simplified and it hardly took two working days for granting a visa.
He earlier addressed the members of SIEMA. The meeting was attended by S. Ravishankar, Chairman of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Sankaran P. Raghunathan, Regional President, Krishna Samraj, Managing Director of Magna Electro Castings Private Limited and Jayakumar Ramdass, President of SIEMA.