Statesman news service 
Kolkata, 1 October
The government shutdown in the USA will not affect people from the city applying for an American visa as the United States (US) visa counselor will remain open, said US Consul General Helen Lafave today at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chambers of Commerce.
"There will not be any visa restrictions. The US visa counselor will continue to issue visas until further instructions from the government. We will try to continue trade between the two countries despite the government shutdown," Ms Lafave said. 
While speaking at the interaction, Ms Lafave also focused on improving and building a stronger relation between the two countries, India and the USA.
While speaking about the American government shutdown, Ms Lafave expressed her concern that the shutdown would hit the US market badly. Every sector will be affected by this shutdown, she said.
"Talks are on for a bilateral investment treaty, which is yet to be signed. It would give investors in both countries more certainty and predictability, and fair treatment under a single, consistent set of rules for companies both small and large, and foreign and domestic," Ms Lafave said. 
To discuss the issues of trade and commerce and to have more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), there would be a summit organised in Washington DC on 31 October. 
There would also be student exchange programmes and more students will be given scholarships. In the USA, 13,000 Indian students are studying whereas only 5,000 US students are studying in India. There would further initiatives to send more American students to India, Ms Lafave said.