http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j186Z7huU1EfJ9vdE5hspOfR3zjg US, India set to launch economic partnership WASHINGTON — The United States and India will launch an economic and financial partnership next month, with a permanent cabinet-level bilateral dialogue a key feature, the US Treasury said Thursday. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will travel to India on April 6-7 to launch the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership in New Delhi with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The partnership, to focus on macroeconomic policy, the financial sector and infrastructure financing, will meet at the cabinet level, alternately in the United States and India, led by Geithner and Mukherjee, a Treasury statement said. Working group meetings will be held throughout the year to advance discussions on specific economic areas, it said. The partnership was first announced in November when President Barack Obama hosted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the first state visit since he entered the White House in January. The United States already has a standing dialogue with fellow emerging Asian giant China. Officials said that unlike the dialogue with China, which is multi-ministerial, the forum with India was focused purely on economic and financial regulatory policy, led by the US Treasury and the Indian finance ministry. "We are still working through how frequently the ministers will meet," one official told AFP. Former US President George W. Bush conceived of the US dialogue with China to focus on the economy, but Obama expanded it to cover strategic issues as well. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the dialogue with China in July in Washington. The US-India partnership "will serve as a platform for greater cooperation on economic issues of importance to both nations," the Treasury statement said. "Both countries recognize the importance of expanding bilateral economic engagement, noting the rapid growth of US-India economic ties and the increasing range of global macroeconomic and financial issues on which the United States and India cooperate," it said. During the trip, Geithner will also visit Mumbai, India?s financial center, to meet with Indian and US business leaders. The United States and India signed a landmark nuclear deal in 2008 which allows New Delhi to enter civilian nuclear energy markets for the first time in decades despite its nuclear weapons arsenal. The nuclear agreement was a milestone in relations between the world's two largest democracies, which had inconsistent ties during the Cold War when India was non-aligned and sometimes tilted toward the Soviet Union.