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Obama picks up contracts on India visit

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Obama picks up contracts on India visit

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US President Barack Obama already has something to show for his visit to India, the first stop on a 10-day, four nation Asian tour that also takes in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

Meetings with Indian business leaders have led to some 20 deals for a combined value of some 10 billion dollars, a package Obama said meant 50,000 American jobs. He also called on India to lower barriers to foreign investors, especially in the retail sector.

“The United States sees Asia and especially India as a market of the future. We don’t simply welcome your rise as a nation and a people, we heartily support it and we want to invest in it,” he said.

Yet India has memories of past US investment that turned sour. Protesters from the blighted city of Bhopal, where gas leaks from a US plant killed thousands in the 1980s, were out in force to remind Obama that people there remain unhappy with the compensation and clean-up.