Times of India | Jan 9, 2012,
India eyes overseas job market, plans to ink pacts with EU, Oz
JAIPUR: The government is negotiating human resource mobility partnership agreements with the Netherlands, France, Australia and the European Union in a move aimed at greater inroads for Indian professionals into such markets.
Speaking at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here on Sunday, Prime Minister Manmohn Singh said the scope of the country’s labour partnership agreement is also being expanded to cover not only skilled workers but academics and professionals.
The government has been trying to get greater access for Indian professionals and workers to several developed markets such as the US and EU. Last year, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma had pressed for greater movement of Indian professionals to the US and had pointed to serious problems being faced by the Indian IT industry in obtaining H1B and L1 visas and had sought early redress.
India has also signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan which is expected to give greater access for Indian accountants, research and development service providers, tourist guides, market researchers and management consulting firms to the Japanese market. Japan has also agreed to open up its market for Indian nurses and caregivers.
Singh cautioned that the global economic slowdown was giving rise to protectionism and vowed to ensure safety of Indians working overseas.
"The world is passing through a difficult phase. Many of you are experiencing first-hand the impact of the global economic slowdown. Employment opportunities have declined, there is greater protectionism and attitudes towards migration have also hardened. There is growing social intolerance even in more open societies," Singh said.
He said the government was acutely conscious of the safety and security of Indians living abroad, particularly in regions characterized by instability.
"There are over six million Indians living in the Gulf and West Asia. We need to be alert to the unfolding developments in this part of the world. We have conveyed to the countries of the region that we have a stake in the peace and stability of this region, and that we expect that they would appropriately look after the interests of Indian communities in their countries," Singh said.
He also detailed the steps being undertaken by the government to deepen the engagement with non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin. He said the ministry of overseas Indian affairs was implementing the e-migrate project that will provide end-to-end computerized solutions for all processes in the emigration system. Singh said the system will link all key stakeholders on a common platform which will be used by workers, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruitment agencies, immigration officials, employers and the Indian missions abroad.