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USIBC pushes for India's inclusion in US `Global Entry'

Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) The US-India Business Council is making a strong push for India’s inclusion in the US “Global Entry” program that will promote ease of travel between the two countries and deepen their business and cultural ties.

The program will “revolutionize travel and enhance goodwill, commerce and trade”, said USIBC, a business advocacy organization comprising more than 350 top-tier US and Indian companies seeking stronger commercial ties between the two countries.

The US made the offer to include India in the “Global Entry” program during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Sep 27 summit meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

“India welcomed the US offer of membership in the US ‘Global Entry’ Trusted Traveller Network Programme, to facilitate expedited entry of Indian travelers to the United States,” the US-India Joint Statement issued after the meeting noted.

‘Global Entry’ membership allows approved travelers to breeze across the globe, using a “quick pass kiosk” at airports to avoid long lines at Customs and Immigration.

The US Customs and Border Protection Agency is making agreements with other countries to allow their citizens to take part, most recently in partnerships with Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Qatar, and now India.

The USIBC said it has retained the services of Washington law firm Steptoe and Johnson, to work with US agencies and with the government of India to add India to the list of trusted traveller countries.

“The Global Entry breakthrough announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama underscores the mutual trust between the countries and is a practical step that will facilitate the ease of doing business, sharing cultural values, and bringing the two countries ever-closer together,” said USIBC president Ron Somers.

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