Joe Biden seeks to boost economic ties

Joe Biden seeks to boost economic ties

United States Vice-President Joe Biden arrived here on Monday, seeking to boost economic ties between the two nations and step up bilateral trade.

Biden, during his four-day visit, will discuss with political executives steps to improve relations in the four key areas of trade, energy and climate, defence and regional cooperation.

He will travel to Mumbai on Wednesday to address captains of the Indian Inc at the Bombay Stock Exchange and interact with students at IIT-Powai.

In Delhi, Biden is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and call on President Pranab Mukherjee, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Vice-President Hamid Ansari will host a dinner in his honour on Tuesday.

Biden, who arrived in the Palam Technical Area with spouse, Jill,  was received by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai. He began his tour with a visit to Gandhi Smriti Museum.

This is his first visit to India after becoming the vice-president. Biden’s trip comes a month after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit.

Biden’s discussions with the Indian leaders are expected to focus on enhancing economic ties, greater defence cooperation, taking forward civil nuclear cooperation and the situation in Afghanistan.

Singh is expected visit the US in September.

In a bid to boost India’s civil nuclear ties with the US, Biden is expected to utilise the visit to expedite work on commercial details of a contract between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and Westinghouse for setting up the first US reactor in India.

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