WASHINGTON: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that India requested the United States to speed up the issuance of business visas so that people can undertake short trips to pursue their business and trade interests.
"We found very good resonance to our request that issuance of business visas which is taking a long time back home in India is an area which needs to be expedited, so that business persons interested on both sides, need to have faster processing of business visas so that trade, investment does not suffer," Piyush Goyal said during a press conference after participating in the 13th India-US Trade Policy Forum in Washington.
"India has made the request to the US that they may speed up the issuance of regular business visas where people come in for short trips to pursue their trade and business interest," he added.
Mr Goyal underlined that the movement of professionals, students, skilled workers, investors, and business travelers is expanding between the two countries.
"And that has helped increase our bilateral relations. We are grateful that the US was able to process the student visas on an expedited basis so that in the post covid scenario our students would come to the US to pursue their studies in the fall of 2022 semester," he added.
Mr Goyal is on an official visit to New York and Washington DC from 9-11 January to participate in India-US Trade Policy Forum. His visit included delegation-level talks and a one-to-one meeting with US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
This request to expiate business visas comes a week after State Department said that the US embassy and consulates in India have broken their record as nearly, 1,25,000 student visas were issued in the fiscal year 2022.
"Our embassy and consulates in India broke their all-time record for the number of student visas issued in the single fiscal year 2022. We have issued nearly 1,25,000 student visas," US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press conference while responding to a query over the slowdown in clearing visas backlog for Indian tourists.
In an earlier release, US Commerce Department said, both India and US are natural partners and have trade complementarities, long-standing strategic and economic relationships, people to people contact, and both are vibrant democracies too.
The two countries are also collaborating under the QUAD, I2U2 (India-Israel/ UAE-USA) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework).
Regular exchanges at the leadership-level have been an integral element of the expanding bilateral engagement. The outcomes emerging from these visits have been instrumental in further strengthening the multifaceted ties between the two countries.
The 12th TPF Ministerial meeting was held on November 23, 2021, after a gap of four years in New Delhi. Working groups were re-activated after the last ministerial. TPF is a platform for continuous engagement between two countries in the area of trade and to further the trade and investment relations between the two countries.