‘US should help India join APEC’

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Washington, March 24 (IANS) Noting that a regionally engaged India benefits the US strategic goals in Asia, nine US lawmakers have introduced a legislation asking the administration to help India join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“Membership in APEC would provide India a constructive forum to glean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies,” said Matt Salmon, of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

He was joined in introducing the House legislation by among others the sole Indian-American member of the House of Representatives, Ami Bera.

The bill directs the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain membership for India in forum established in 1989 for 21 Pacific Rim member economies to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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

“India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. An economically prosperous and regionally engaged India benefits the United States’ strategic goals on Asia,” said Bera.

“I’m proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues to promote India’s membership in APEC.”

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