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Footprint of top 100 Indian firms in US: 113,000 jobs, $18 bn investments

Report by CII may strengthen India's hand in current negotiations over visa and totalisation issues

Subhyan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi 

Economic Survey, jobs, hiring, recruitment, India

Apart from pumping in $17.9 billion into the US economy, the top 100 homegrown firms operating in the United States also currently employ more than 113,000 people.

Titled 'Indian Roots, American Soil', the report released by the (CII) on Wednesday states that Indian companies have also contributed $147 million towards corporate social responsibility and $588 million as research and development expenditures in the US.

The data paints the reach and spread of Indian across all 50 states of the US, showing the significant impact that investment by 100 leading Indian firms have had on the US economy.

It shows that most investments continue to be focused on major manufacturing centres such as New Jersey and New York on the eastern seaboard as well as Texas and California. Overall, the report found 23 states were found to have 10 or more Indian companies present.

This nullifies the argument of the US government that foreign firms are only talking money out of the nation, a senior diplomat said on conditions of anonymity. US lawmakers have proposed increasing visa fees and reducing the number of available H1B and L1 visas used by most information technology professionals from India.

"India has reportedly termed the move protectionist and said it has had an adverse impact on services trade. Indian services companies continue to face problems in obtaining H-1B visas and L-1 visas in the form of annual caps, higher visa fees and high rejection rates," a senior Commerce Ministry official said.

Currently, bilateral trade between the countries is more than $100 billion (around Rs 6.67 lakh crore), with both ways merchandise trade accounting for $64.51 billion (around Rs 4.14 lakh crore). Of this, merchandise trade is over $63 billion out of which India's exports to the US, accounting for over $40 billion, constitutes the largest offshore market for Indian goods.

"The ongoing success of Indian companies is why India remains in the top ten fastest-growing sources of in the US Indian companies are funding community workforce skills training throughout the nation, and popular Corporate Social Responsibility programs include training for students and U.S. veterans." the report points out.

In the first ministerial-level trade deliberation with the Trump administration led United States, last month India had pointed out that home grown firms have increasingly invested heavily in across a wide spectrum of sectors, enhancing the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

Now, the report points out there CSR activities stand at $ 147 million while R&D expenditures total $588 million.

The report also points out the average amount of investment received from Indian companies per state or federal territory is more than $187 million. Added to this, 85 per cent of the companies plan to make more investments in the country while 87 per cent plan to hire more employees locally in the next five years.

This has significant impact for states which have not fared well since the great financial crisis in the country back in 2007-08 such as Illinois. Indian origin US Congressman for the state, Raja Krishnamoorthy pointed out that Indian firms have invested over $195 million in the state and created over 3,800 jobs."As the son of immigrants and an advocate for a strong middle class, I hope that Indian companies continue to put down roots and invest in our state, as our economy and community are strengthened by their engagement with us."", he said.

However, India and the US are currently engaged in a fight over the issue of the Totalisation and Social Security Act of the US which India says discriminates against Indian workers in the US. These workers end up losing their social security contributions because of a discrepancy in the visa and social security regimes.

India has requested allowing these workers to repatriate their social security contributions when they leave the country, Commerce ministry sources said.

First Published: Wed, November 15 2017. 19:52 IST
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