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Destination India gets UNSC high 5

delhi Updated: Oct 31, 2010 00:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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With Wen Jiabao slated to touchdown in New Delhi in December, followed by presidents of France and Russia, India would have earned the rare distinction of hosting the top leaders of all the P-5 (permanent members of the United Nation Security Council) nations in a single year.

British prime minister David Cameron visited India in July. US president Barack Obama is arriving on November 6.

Former foreign secretary Salman Haidar calls the diplomatic rush to New Delhi "a reflection of the importance world powers attach to India".

Also acting as a strong magnet are the numerous high value defence deals that India is likely to ink in the near future, experts say.

David Cameron came with the single largest foreign business delegation in recent memory. Not a surprise considering Indian companies are the second largest investors in the UK.

With China, even though defence exchanges are on hold, two-way trade till October has already scaled the $45 billion mark — and is well on track to meet the $60 billion milestone set for the year.

Economics has been a strong propeller of Indo-US ties also.

While India remains a thriving market for US goods exports, service exports have trebled to about $10 billion a year. Indian firms are the second-fastest growing investors in the US and support 57,000 American jobs.

"The bilateral trade with France is also coming out of the slump it faced last year. Till June, bilateral trade rose by 21.30% to €3.53 billion compared to €2.91 billion for the same period in 2009," an official said.

With "trusted partner and proven friend" Russia, it's a slightly different tale. Barring the buyer-seller relationship, bilateral trade has a lot of ground to cover, a government source admits.