Indian-Americans can play key role in India-US ties: Biden



Washington: Indian-Americans can play a valuable role in the India-US relationship as they bring unique perspective on issues of common concerns like business and trade, climate change and energy, US Vice President Joe Biden has said.

Biden made the remarks in a meeting with a group of Indian-Americans at the White House yesterday during which he discussed his upcoming trip to India.

"The Vice President emphasised the Administration's ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and the importance of our bilateral relationship with India," a White House official said.

"He (Biden) also highlighted the valuable role that Indian-Americans can play in enhancing the US-India relationship and the unique perspective they bring to issues of concern to both Indian-Americans and Indians, such as business and trade, education, climate change and energy, and empowering women and girls," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The meeting with Biden was closed to the press.

Among the Indian-Americans who attended the meeting at the invitation of Biden were Maya Ajmera, founder, The Global Fund for Children; Ajay Banga, chairman, US India Business Council and President & CEO, MasterCard Worldwide; Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director, World Resources Institute; Dinyar Devitre, Chairman-Elect, Pratham USA and Mallika Dutt, president and CEO, Breakthrough.

Biden is scheduled to leave for India and Singapore tomorrow.

He would travel to New Delhi and Mumbai during which he is expected to meet the top Indian leaderships, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Biden's trip to India comes immediately after the visit of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to Washington last week during which they met top officials of the Obama Administration, corporate executives and lawmakers.

In June, Secretary of State John Kerry had travelled to India for the India-US Strategic Dialogue.

Prime Minister Singh is likely to visit Washington late September or early October at the invitation of US President Barack Obama.

PTI