US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is travelling to New Delhi to meet public and private sector leaders, besides participating in the US-India Commercial Dialogue and CEO Forum  to “unlock new trade and investment opportunities’’ between the two countries., according to a statement issued by the US Department of Commerce on Tuesday.

“The Secretary will convey the importance that the Biden Administration places on US-India relations and emphasise the significant opportunity to deepen commercial ties between the two countries,” the statement said.

The visit assumes added importance as the US is looking to lessen its economic dependence on China amid the ongoing geo-political tensions, and intensify ties with long-term partners such as India.

Cooperation between the US and India in the manufacture of semiconductor chips would be a likely area of focus, according to sources.

Raimondo, who is leading a business delegation comprising CEOs and senior officials of top US companies,  is likely to celebrate Holi at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence on Wednesday, sources added.

The US-India Commercial Dialogue and CEO Forum will be held on March 10, to discuss cooperation in various sectors that could unlock new trade and investment opportunities between the two countries, the statement said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will lead the Indian side in the talks.

“This is an optimistic time for US-India relations, and I am excited to visit India during such a special time of year, the celebration of Holi,” Raimondo said. “Through the CEO Forum, the Commercial Dialogue, and IPEF, we are making excellent progress in bringing our countries closer together by creating new markets for trade, expanding those that already exist, and reinforcing our shared commitment to democracy,” she added.

The US-India CEO Forum was soft-launched by Raimondo and Goyal in November 2022 during a meeting between the two leaders. “During the meeting, they identified key priorities such as increasing supply chain resilience; enhancing energy security and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions; advancing inclusive digital trade; and facilitating post-pandemic economic recovery, especially for small businesses,” the statement noted.

Raimondo’s visit comes on the heels of last month’s successful special negotiating round for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in New Delhi, which was attended by senior US Department of Commerce officials, it said.