US Vice President to focus on four key areas with India

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 09:04 hrs

Washington: Visiting India Monday to deepen ties with a strategic partner, US Vice President Joe Biden will focus on four key areas - economic cooperation, energy and climate, defence and regional cooperation.

"India is obviously a key player and increasingly so in the Asia Pacific region," a senior administration official said in a White House teleconference call Friday ahead of the trip aimed at outlining the US vision of moving forward with its policy of Asia Pacific rebalance.

"The overarching goal is to tie together all nations of the Asia Pacific from India to the western shores of Americas through strong partnerships, institutional alliances and rules of the road," he said of the trip that would also take Biden to Singapore.

On economic cooperation, Biden "will focus on issues from investment policy to intellectual property and speak to how we can work together to fill the goal between where we are today and where we can be," the official said.

On energy and climate, the vice president "will speak to the work that we need to do together to realise the promise of the civil nuclear agreement" as also the work they should be doing together on addressing the global challenge of climate change, he said.

Noting that India and the US have built a strong foundation in defence cooperation and sales in the past few years, the official said Biden will talk about "how we can build an even stronger edifice and deepen cooperation going forward."

The vice president's "full and formidable agenda" will also cover the "wide range of regional cooperation that the US and India have embarked upon both in South Asia and East Asia relating to maritime security and terrorism to our work together in the institutions of the Asia Pacific."

Biden, who will be accompanied by spouse Jill Biden, will begin the four-day trip with a visit to the Gandhi Smirti Museum to show his respect both to Mahatma Gandhi and to India's modern history.

On Tuesday he will meet with Vice President Hamid Ansari, opposition Bhartiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee, and then attend a dinner hosted by Ansari, "along with an array of Indian officials and folks from the private sector."

Travelling to Mumbai Wednesday, he'll deliver a policy speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange and hold a roundtable with business leaders.

Biden will hold a women's empowerment event at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai Thursday before departing for Singapore.

While Biden is engaged in official business in New Delhi, spouse Jill Biden, will make a quick trip to Agra to do a health and nutrition event in Kachhupura community in Agra and see the Taj Mahal.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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