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Ambassador's meeting with the Commerce Secretary

December 4, 1997

At a meeting today with the Ambassador of India Shri Naresh Chandra,
Commerce Secretary, William Daley, said that he was keenly looking
forward to his visit to India. There were important commercial and economic
policy matters to discuss with the Indian leadership. Dismissing misgivings
about the timing of the visit, the Commerce Secretary stated that commercial
engagement with India had a high priority: "The bottom line is engagement
with India, and the visit has a strong commercial focus".

 The Ambassador mentioned that although fresh general elections had just been
announced, the current government continued in office with full constitutional
authority. He added that apart from the Government of India, business and industrial
circles in India were looking forward to the visit with great anticipation. The
Ambassador also expressed his appreciation for the support being shown by
the US for India's reform policies.

 Reviewing the programme of Secretary Daley in India, both noted that there were
a number of meetings with the chief ministers of States, which pointed to the
decentralisation of the process of policy-making that is taking place in India.

 Secretary Daley is travelling to India with a business delegation of 30 and an
official delegation of around 8 for a week. He will be in India from Monday,
December 8 to Friday December 12, 1997, and would be visiting New Delhi,
Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai.