New bill introduced in US to help India join APEC

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India: A group of potent lawmakers in America has introduced a new bill in the US Congress asking the Obama administration to include India in APEC, reasoning that including India will help the US in fulfilling their strategic goals in Asia.

Matt Salmon, Chairman of the House Committee on Asia and Pacific who introduced the bill in the US legislation says, “Membership in APEC would provide India a constructive forum to flean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies”.

“Indian Prime Minister Modi is striving hard for major economic reforms to open India’s markets, improve trade volume, and facilitate his growing population’s need and continued job growth” said Salmon.

Salmon is also joined by Ami Bera, the sole Indian-American lawmaker in the present Congress along with ED Royce; Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, Elliot Engel; Chairman of House Affairs Committee, George Holding, Derek Kilmer, Dana Rohrabacher and Scott DesJarlais.

According to Bera, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and an economically prosperous and regionally engaged India will benifit US strategic goals on Asia.

The legislation observes that a partnership between US and India is important for the US administration’s rebalance to Asia especially the Asian-Pacific region.

Noting that India is located within the Asian-Pacific region which allows for continued trade and investments deals with other APEC member countries, the legislation calls for the Secretary of Sates, John Kerry to construct a strategy for the membership of India in APEC including working groups, activities, meetings and mechanisms.

The legislation also directs the secretary to actively gain support for membership of India from the other APEC States and to submit a report within two months of the legislation regarding the same.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) headquartered in Singapore is a forum consisting of 21 economies to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The members of APEC are Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, China, Russia, Peru, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan,Brunei Darussalam and US. (Inputs from Agencies)