Visa problems impacting trade, investments: India to UK

London, Jul 27: India has raised with the UK the issue of visa problems being faced by its professionals and the way they are impacting bilateral trade and investments.

At a meeting with British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said, "The bilateral trade and investment between the two nations is getting impacted by difficulties in obtaining visas."

Sharma said India wants to make sure that business visitors are able to travel to the UK without facing visa related troubles. He said the IT industry in particular is getting impacted by such issues as delivery of services is dependent on the movement of professionals at short notice. Sharma impressed upon the UK government to carefully take into account the gains arising to the UK economy from the contributions by the highly skilled workers from India.

"...any unreasonable cap would affect the productivity of around 700 Indian companies which provide substantial employment in the UK," he said.

In April, the UK stopped the facility of Post Study Work Visa to Indians and other non-EU students. It allowed them to work for two years after graduation/post-graduation. UK, Germany and several other European countries are following tough visa regimes for professionals and students from developing countries.

India has raised this issue on many occasions with these countries. Sharma also raised the issue of visa with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has assured him of looking into the issue at the earliest. Meanwhile, George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, UK in his meeting with Sharma assured to provide an open investment climate for Indian businesses.

On India-EU free trade pact, Osborne said that UK remains a strong advocate of the deal and will provide all help for its early conclusion.


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