US, India to boost economic ties

New Delhi, November 6:

US treasury secretary John Snow arrived in India today for a five-day long tour to secure stronger trade ties and cooperation on a wide range of economic matters, the US embassy said.

Snow, who landed in India’s financial capital Mumbai, was to visit the National Stock Exchange and other financial facilities before heading to New Delhi on Wednesday for talks with finance minister P Chidambaram and other top economic officials, said embassy spokesman David Kennedy.

“His focus would be on expanding and deepening our bilateral relations,” building on the meeting between president George W Bush and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh in Washington in July, Kennedy said.

During that visit, India and the United States reached a landmark agreement to build a strategic partnership that spans cooperation in military affairs, sharing civilian nuclear know-how, and joint research in space, agriculture and new technologies.

In his first visit to the country as treasury secretary, Snow will press India to allow foreign companies greater freedom to invest in the country’s booming financial sector, the US treasury department said in a statement. “He will discuss the strong potential of the Indian economy, focusing on efforts to further liberalise the financial sector and improve financing infrastructure,” the statement read.