Official sources said that the focus of Biden's maiden visit will be on four key areas of economic and trade ties, energy and climate change, defence co-operation and a wide range of regional co-operation. JPN/Agencies
70-year-old Biden, who had visited New Delhi in 2008 as a Senator, wanted to travel to India in his first term as Vice-President. He will also hold talks with Vice President Hamid Ansari, who will also host a dinner in the honour of the visiting dignitary. Incidentally, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is not calling on the US Vice-President.
Biden, while speaking at the prestigious George Washington University last week had said, "One of the reasons why President (Barack) Obama called our relations with India, quote, 'a defining partnership of the century ahead' is that India is increasingly looking east as a force for security and growth in Southeast Asia and beyond".
Biden will fly to Mumbai where he is expected to hold a round table with business leaders and press for stronger intellectual property protection. While trade has grown in recent years, there is still widespread frustration among US business leaders over some trading practices which they term as protectionists. India in turn has been complaining about the US visa regime for IT professionals, including hike in the visa fee.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma were both in Washington last week to pitch for investment and discuss India's readiness to open talks on a bilateral investment treaty.
Biden will be the senior-most administration official to visit India since President Barack Obama came in 2010. Biden is expected to set up an "ambitious vision" for
India-US relationship, in addition to attending a women's empowerment event at IIT Mumbai. He would leave for Singapore on July 25.
All this while, Jill would hold a series of health and nutritional events in New Delhi and Mumbai and visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Biden, however, would not be visiting the Taj Mahal.
Official sources said that the focus of Biden's maiden visit will be on four key areas of economic and trade ties, energy and climate change, defence co-operation and a wide range of regional co-operation.