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Fourth US consulate to be located in Hyderabad

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Mulls $100-m tech transfer fund

MEETING THE YOUNG: The US President, Mr George W. Bush, and Ms Laura Bush, being given a traditional welcome in Hyderabad on Friday. At right is the US Ambassador to India, Mr Robert Mulford, and in the middle is the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. - P.V. Sivakumar

Hyderabad , March 3

The Ministry of External Affairs and the US Government today communicated their consent to locate the fourth US consulate office at Hyderabad. This will be operational from October 2007.

Speaking to newspersons, the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said that the setting up of a consulate would be a big boon to Indians seeking visas.

Dr Reddy said that the US Government had also hinted at the possibility of creating an agriculture tech transfer fund with a corpus of $100 million.

However, details of this fund would be announced only after it is finalised.

Speaking after a four-hour whirlwind tour of the US President, Mr George W. Bush, along with his wife, Ms Laura Bush, Dr Reddy said that the consulate office would be located at the Dil Kushah guest house, adjacent to Raj Bhavan. It will also serve as a commerce and trade facilitator.

The Chief Minister said that this would provide a major boost for the State in its endeavour to promote bilateral trade between not only the State and the US but also across the country.

Earlier, visiting the Acharya NG Ranga University, the US President interacted with farmers, weavers, and members of women self-help groups, to get a feel of the rural economy in the State.

The city, particularly the old city, was witness to protests and rallies against US policies.

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