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Clinton, Indian Foreign Minister to Hold Talks


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says U.S. ties with India have never been stronger, as she prepares to hold talks with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna.

The meeting Wednesday in Washington marks the latest round of high-level talks between the two countries, following a visit to India last week by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

It also comes days after the Obama administration exempted India from sanctions barring Iranian oil imports.

Clinton said Tuesday that shared values, economic systems and diplomatic aims are bringing the countries closer together.

“That means we are working together like never before to build an open, free, transparent and fair global economic system, to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia and the Asia Pacific, to coordinate international responses to violent extremism and so much else.”

But some U.S. companies say it is difficult to invest in India.

Raghbendra Jha, a South Asia analyst at Australian National University, told VOA that while the business climate in India has challenges now, those problems do not affect long-term prospects.

“Yes, there are some short-term difficulties. The investment climate has deteriorated, primarily because India has had difficulty dealing with inflation and in dealing with its budgetary deficits — budgetary and current account deficits. Once these are brought under reasonable control, you will see that the investment climate will indeed improve and there will be an upswing to the cycle.”

Krishna echoed that sentiment in a speech Tuesday, telling business leaders that India is confident it will restore investor confidence and further grow its economy.

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