Foreign Secretary to embark on six-day US visit
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 00:01
Washington: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao would travel to the United States next week to hold discussions with top officials of the Obama Administration on a wide range of bi-lateral and regional issues.

Rao would be visiting Washington and New York during her stay here from March 14 to 19. She will be co-chairing the seventh meeting of the India’US High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) with Dennis F Hightower, Deputy Secretary of Commerce on March 15-16.

This is the first meeting of the HTCG after the new administration assumed office in the US. Both sides hope to consolidate the progress made in the last five years and move ahead to significantly expand bilateral trade in strategic and high technology areas, the spokesperson of the Indian mission here said.

The HTCG was formed in 2002 to provide a forum to discuss bilateral high-technology trade issues and build the confidence necessary to facilitate trade in sensitive items.

On March 15, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) will host the industry dialogue in Washington, organised in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The meeting will give US and Indian industry representatives an opportunity to discuss ways in which the two governments can facilitate trade in specific industry sectors and make suggestions. These industry suggestions are expected to provide substantive input for bilateral government meetings slated in the following day.

Apart from meetings in the Commerce Department, the Foreign Secretary will also be meeting senior members of the US Administration as well as the US Congress during her stay in Washington, the spokesperson said.

India and the US had agreed on establishing a Strategic Dialogue to be co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of State and also a revised Dialogue Architecture last year during the visit of Hillary Clinton to India.

Rao in her meetings in the State Department will review the progress made on various elements of the revised dialogue architecture and also discuss the way ahead in preparation for the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to the US later this year for the next round of Strategic Dialogue. Regional and global issues of mutual interest would also figure in these talks, the official said.


First Published: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 00:01

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