Barack Obama, the US president, is visiting India for the first time since he became president as part of a ten-day Asia tour aimed at opening up foreign markets for the US.

His three days in India included a visit to the country's financial hub, Mumbai, and the capital, New Delhi. During the visit, he emphasised the need to relax trade and investment barriers so as to boost economic relations between the US and India.

He has referred to the relationship between the two countries as one of the indispensable partnerships of the 21st century.

But is the visit all about business? And how important is India to the US in a region with growing global influence?

Inside Story, with presenter Dareen Abughaida, discusses with Chintamani Mahapatra, an assistant professor and chairperson of American Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lawrence Korb, a former US assistant secretary of defence who is currently a senior fellow at the think tank The Centre for American Progress, and Inderjeet Parmar, a professor of politics and author of the book Soft Power and US Foreign Policy.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, November 7, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera