Locke wants India to open up financial sector for US business

India and the United States can mutually benefit from further expanding their trade and economic relationship, especially in the financial sector, US secretary of commerce Gary Locke said on Monday.

Locke said India and the US could further expand their relationship in agriculture, weather forecasting, multi combat aircraft and other sectors. Locke, who was accompanied by a delegation of senior officials of US administration, including US Ambassador in India, said US companies are interested doing business in India.

In this regard, he mentioned the various steps taken by the US administration to further strengthen the strategic partnership. He specifically mentioned the removal of ISRO and DRDO from its banned entities list.

Speaking on the occasion, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said India and United States have strong strategic partnership, especially in the field of defence, space and nuclear science among others. He said there is a large potential for further expanding this relationship, mainly in the economic and financial sector.

The finance minister said India needed large investment in infrastructure sector projects in which US companies can play a major role through export of equipment and establishing joint venture companies.

Mukherjee said the new institutional and regulatory framework would help both the countries in further strengthening their relationship in civil nuclear cooperation.

He also appreciated the US leadership for supporting India's claim for permanent membership in UN Security Council.