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Obama to visit India to discuss business relations

Indian Sikh devotees lights candles at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the occasion of Bandi Chhor Divas or Diwali.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: After a quick turn in the Rose Garden this morning to talk about those jobs numbers, President Obama left for a 10-day swing through Asia. He'll hit India tomorrow, then Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

Trade between India and the U.S. is set to reach about $40 billion this year -- that would be an all-time high, as Raymond Thibodeaux reports now from New Delhi.


Sounds of fireworks and Indian music

Raymond Thibodeaux: Music and fireworks kick off the Indian holiday of Diwali, a five-day celebration when Indians shower each other with gifts. It seems apt that President Obama visits during the festival, when Indians are in a generous mood. His message: Give us more of your business and give us better access to your markets, so we can create more jobs back in the U.S.

President Obama's first stop is Mumbai, India's commercial capital. Joining him are more than 200 American entrepreneurs and corporate CEOs. GE and Boeing are here to speed up contracts for planes and heavy equipment to India worth about $8 billion.

Chandrajit Banerjee is director for the Confederation of Indian Industry. He says the U.S. is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to trade with India -- but not by much, and not for much longer.

Chandrajit Banerjee: The opportunities that are coming in the defense sector and the types of opportunities that American goods and services will see in India is immense.

Still, he says many Indians are miffed that the U.S. is trying to protect its own markets. Higher visa fees for Indians working in the U.S. and tax breaks to American companies that create jobs at home, rather than abroad, haven't exactly played well in India.

In New Delhi, I'm Raymond Thibodeaux for Marketplace.

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