India to be a part of APEC, Legislation introduced in US Congress

apec countries
APEC Countries with their year of inclusion. Image – Fasttrack Passport Control

A legislation has been introduced in the US Congress by a group of influential law makers. According to the legislation, Obama administration has been asked to help India join the APEC forum. According to the law makers, India is economically prosperous and this will benefit the US’ strategic goals in Asia.

Matt Salmon, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, who introduced the legislation in the US Congress, said, “Membership in APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) would provide India a constructive forum to glean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies.” He further added that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also striving for major economic reforms to open India’s markets, improve trade volumes, and facilitate his growing population’s needs for continued job growth.

Ami Bera, a Congressman said that India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. He also added an economically prosperous and regionally engaged India will benefit the US’ strategic goals on Asia. Bera is also the only Indian-American lawmaker in the current Congress, Co chair Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.

Some of the other famous personalities including, Ed Royce, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, Elliot Engel, Brad Sherman, George Holding, Derek Kilmer, Dana Rohrabacher and Scott DesJarlais were also present when the legislation was introduced.

APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) is headquartered at Singapore. It is a forum of 21 economies to promote free trade throughout the Asia Pacific region. The members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

The legislation also asks Secretary of State John Kerry to develop a strategy to obtain a membership status for India in APEC. It also seeks the active participation of all the members of the APEC to consider and support the membership status of India. They have also asked to submit a report to the Congress in the coming two months so that the legislation can be passed.

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