NEW DELHI — A leading Indian business group said Wednesday that the world's largest democracy was creating jobs in the United States, not taking them away, despite fears over the impact of outsourcing.
US President Barack Obama arrives in Mumbai this weekend on a three-day official visit focused on widening US export opportunities and creating much-needed jobs to ease the near 10-percent unemployment rate at home.
Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said it was incorrect to believe that India was robbing the United States of jobs through its flagship outsourcing industry.
"We are creating jobs in the country (US) in the thousands," said Mitra, adding Indian investments in the United States would generate even more employment in the future.
Outsourcing in which US and other Western firms set up call centres, number-crunching and software development outlets in India to cut costs, was a particularly heated issue in the US midterm elections which wound up with Obama's Democrats suffering heavy defeats.
The group said India's investments in new offices, plants and equipment in the United States between 2004 and 2009 totalled 5.5 billion dollars -- the latest period available -- while acquisitions hit 20 billion dollars.
Mitra said the US was a preferred destination for Indian foreign direct investment, with the information technology, media and entertainment sectors favored recipients.
Indian companies are the second-fastest-growing investors in the United States after the United Arab Emirates, supporting some 57,000 jobs in the country, according to US government figures.
Mitra admitted US fears about IT employees losing their jobs as firms send work abroad would not go away while so many American workers were without employment.
But he said Indian business leaders hoped to persuade their visiting counterparts during Obama's visit that India also represented a vast potential export market which could create US jobs.
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