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Biden to seek India support for Asia pivot
July 22, 2013, 7:35 am

State-owned LIC has been investing in stock markets in the past few weeks as ‘there are opportunities’. (AP Images)

The vice president is set to deliver a speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange [AP]

US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to arrive in India on Monday on a four-day trip, which will involve high-level discussions with the Indian prime minister and industry leaders.

Trade, energy, climate change and security concerns are expected to be high on the agenda during the talks.

The vice president’s visit comes after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to India in June.

“This trip will be an important opportunity to strengthen our partnerships within the region and reaffirm our commitment to re-balancing US foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific,” the White House said.

Biden has stressed that the US will try to get India’s support for its ‘Asia Pivot’ and that there will be a balancing of US attention between Asia and the Middle-East.

“There is no reason why we cannot bring greater focus to the Asia-Pacific and keep our eye on the ball in the Middle East.  Folks, that’s what big powers do.  To use the vernacular, we can walk and chew gum at the same time,” the vice president said last week.

Biden also said the United States would focus on the “risks of disruption” in an increasingly ‘tense region”.

“In the Asia-Pacific, we saw a region of remarkable promise, but also genuine uncertainty and political risk.  Many nations have experienced rapid economic transformation that has fundamentally created a new dynamic: rising ambitions and rising tensions. But the rules and norms that could provide predictability to deal with both those changes, the order needed remained incomplete,” he said.

Biden will will also visit Mumbai, India’s business hub, where he is set to deliver a speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange.

In his meetings with Indian business leaders, Biden is likely to discuss host of bilateral, regional and global issues, besides emphasising on closer cooperation to harness economic and strategic opportunities, the White House said.

“In the last 13 years, we’ve increased fivefold our bilateral trade, reaching nearly $100 billion. But if you look at it from a distance, an uninformed person looked at it from a distance, there is no reason, that if our countries make the right choices, trade cannot grow fivefold or more,’ said the vice president.

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

Biden will leave for Singapore for the last leg of his week-long trip.

“ASEAN now represents a $2 trillion economy of 600 million people.  There is more American investment in Southeast Asia than in China. That’s why I’m going to Singapore,” Biden said in an official statement.

The BRICS Post

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