Ambassador’s Remarks during the Roundtable on America’s Highly Skilled Workforce, the Talent Pipeline and H-1B Visas hosted by the Wilson Center in Partnership with NASSCOM

Ambassador’s Remarks during the Roundtable on

America’s Highly Skilled Workforce, the Talent Pipeline and

H-1B Visas

Hosted by the Wilson Center in Partnership with NASSCOM

July 23, 2019

 

  • I thank the Wilson Centre for hosting the event.
  • I would like to congratulate IHS Market and NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies) for bringing out two reports on Indian IT sector and the role that it plays in the U.S. economy in terms of creation of jobs and economic growth.
  • The Indian IT industry has been an important stakeholder in promoting and supporting stronger bilateral business relations between the two countries. They have invested billions of dollars across many States in the U.S., contributed to the competitiveness of global operations of U.S. companies, and supported hundreds of thousands of direct, indirect, and induced jobs in the United States.
  • Indian IT companies in the US are deeply embedded in the roots of American society and their contributions have exceeded far beyond the economy. The active role played by Indian IT companies in CSR activities is well known. Here are some of the initiatives the Indian IT industry in the U.S. have taken:

            Ø    Wipro’s active involvement in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in September 2017; its partnership with First Book; its investments in 14 US-based startups and venture capital funds since 2015; and its expansion of Science Education Fellowship Program in April 2018 to 3 additional universities in the US are well recognized.

           Ø    TCS’ pledge of $500,000 support to American Red Cross for disaster relief; and its education initiative in 2017 called “My Future in School” goes much beyond its business operations. This was recognized by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper when at the time of TCS expanding its Denver operations in August 2018, he cited and I quote “Their (TCS) work to support tech education for young people impacts many students in our state. Opening an office here will no doubt strengthen their programs and our workforce for years to come.” 

           Ø    There are similar contributions by other Indian tech industry: be it Infosys’ partnership with Trinity College on Applied Learning Initiative in September 2018; Mindtree’s $2 million grant to Stanford university in July 2018; or Tech Mahindra’s technology and analytics partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars to provide next generation digital technology expertise such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics in August 2018; or HCL being named “outstanding employer in North Carolina” in 2015.  

  • The movement of highly skilled Indian professionals in the U.S., through programmes such as the H-1B visa, has been a mutually beneficial partnership which should be nurtured. There is a long history of foreign professionals coming to the U.S. and contributing to America’s economic success. By helping develop new products and services, engaged in cutting-edge research, and serving as enablers for U.S. companies to expand their client base, H1B visa users create jobs for American workers. 
  • Trade between India and the U.S. has grown from $20 billion to $142 billion since 2000. Both countries recognize the huge potential and as India and the United States seek to expand trade and bilateral investments, there is an ever-growing importance of free movement of skilled professionals between our two countries.
  • Another aspect of the H-1B visa programme is the Indian students' contribution to the US economy. Indian students are the second foreign student population with over 200,000 active students, 85% of them pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. Studies have shown that Indian students contribute over $7.5 billion to the US economy.  Students in the US who go on to work in H-1B visas also spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • I applaud NASSCOM and its members for the role they are playing in digital transformation and helping U.S. companies maintain global competitiveness.