Kolkata: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday landed at Kolkata for a three-day visit. She is likely to meet West Bengal’s first woman Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers' Building on Monday. As per reports, Hillary will have a 45-minute long meeting with Mamata.

The US says Hillary is keen to explore investment and trade opportunities in West Bengal as well as gauge the firebrand chief minister's views on FDI in multi-brand retail.

Hillary is also likely to broach the subject of the Teesta water treaty with Mamata following Saturday's meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Hillary will meet Mamata on Monday and likely to discuss various issues including foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and India-Bangladesh tie. State Finance Minister Amit Mitra and State Secretary Samar Ghosh are expected to be present at the meeting.

This will be Clinton's second visit to the city after her presence at Mother Teresa's funeral in 1997. She will meet Mamata at the state secretariat the next day, with the illustrious Time Magazine listing them as two of the most influential people in the world.

Speculation is rife that Hillary - who is to meet Banerjee just a day after her meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - would raise the issue of the Teesta Water Treaty between India and Bangladesh, which was sent into cold storage due to Banerjee's opposition last year.

According to senior officials of the US administration, discussions over India-Bangladesh ties and trade ought to come up in the discussions as West Bengal will be the main beneficiary of strong India-Bangladesh ties.

 Hillary to discuss Teesta treaty with Mamata

The Teesta treaty was proposed to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Dhaka last year. But the signing was scrapped following Banerjee's last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.

The issue of FDI in multibrand retail and other economic reforms are likely to come up at meeting. Discussions over US investment in West Bengal would also be on the discussion table.

"The visit may lead to increase in potential American investment in the state. This would be a good opportunity to discuss potential investment in fields like IT or biotech where land requirement is comparatively less," said political analyst Sabyasachi Roychowdhury.

Security has been beefed up in the city including the state secretariat and the governor's house.

Two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) teams have visited both venues.

With a brush of new paint and colourful electrical lighting, the state secretariat is gearing up to welcome Clinton.

Street lamps in and around the Writers' Buildings and governor's house have been fitted with new bulbs.
JPN/ Agencies

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