US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said that foreign direct investment in retail was on the agenda of talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been opposed to attempts to open up the retail sector to foreign direct investment.
"This is certainly in the list of things I want to talk about," Clinton told an interactive session in Kolkata.
The US, which has high stakes in gaining entry into the huge Indian retail market, is actively pursuing opening up of the sector to FDI.
"But I primarily want to meet the chief minister. I don't want to say we want this and this in our first meeting," Clinton said.
Appreciating Banerjee's difficulties, Clinton said that she understood how things were under different circumstances.
"I will certainly want them to open up. I think there are a lot of benefits which are not there to be seen initially," she said.
Clinton sought to explain that the retail sector could also help farmers as guaranteed purchase and financing were beneficial for the farm sector also.
Mamata had opposed UPA government's efforts to open up retail sector to FDI.
Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, second left, holds a sari during an anti-human trafficking event in Kolkata on Sunday. | Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters