India, US to deepen ties in reforms, infrastructure finance

June 29th, 2011 - 10:38 am ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Washington, June 29 (IANS) India and the United States have set a “robust agenda” to deepen their economic engagement in three key areas of macroeconomic challenges, financial sector reforms and infrastructure finance.

The agenda was outlined in a Joint Statement issued at the end of the second US-India Economic and Financial Partnership meeting here Tuesday. Here is the text:

“Today, US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee convened in Washington, DC, the second ministerial meeting of the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership.

As two of the world’s largest economies, the US-India relationship offers enormous economic opportunities for Americans and Indians alike.

Through stronger collaboration and coordination amongst our economic and financial policymakers, this Partnership has sought to deepen US-India bilateral and multilateral engagement in order to fully capitalise on the wealth of economic opportunities between our two nations.

The comprehensive inter-agency participation from both the United States and India, including Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and Reserve Bank of India Governor Subbarao, is the highest level economic and financial meeting ever between our two countries.

This meeting clearly demonstrates the vision and commitment that the United States and India share in expanding economic opportunities for our citizens through greater trade and investment.

The US-India economic relationship has made significant progress in recent years. Our private sectors share a common entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the pursuit of business innovation.

Over the past decade, trade and investment between our two countries has expanded across a variety of industries and sectors. Between 2000 and 2010, Indian exports to the United States grew by nearly 180 percent and American exports to India increased over four times.

Meanwhile, combined bilateral US-India foreign direct investment grew by nearly 165 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Despite this progress, and especially given the size of the two respective economies, we recognize that there remains untapped potential and opportunity to expand trade and investment linkages to the benefit of both countries.

In the meetings that we just concluded, we discussed the challenges that both economies face in ensuring a strong recovery and price stability in the short term, as well as the range of policies necessary to reach growth at our full potential domestically.

The United States is committed to making the investments in technology, skills, and infrastructure necessary to maintain and enhance US competitiveness in the global economy.

India intends to take steps to marshal private and public saving to meet the infrastructure needs of a rapidly growing Indian economy. The United States and India will work together to expand trade and investment links between our two economies, and to develop and strengthen our financial systems.

India and the United States will also work together in the G-20 on an effective mutual assessment process to bring about strong, sustained, and balanced global growth.

Leveraging our combined knowledge, experience, and shared interests, the two sides agreed to a robust agenda for the coming year that includes deeper engagement in the following areas within each pillar of the Partnership:

. Macroeconomic challenges, including growth, unemployment, inflation, global liquidity, commodity prices, international capital flows and fiscal consolidation.

. Financial sector reforms, including deepening of capital markets, financial inclusion, and ensuring the stability, transparency, and integrity of the financial system.

. Infrastructure finance, including innovative strategies to mobilize capital for infrastructure development, and sharing best practices and building capacity for design and successful execution of Public Private Partnerships.

Since the April 2010 launch in Delhi, our Partnership has led to deeper institutional relationships and exchanges between US and Indian economic and financial sector regulators - both of which have proven critical to technical cooperation, capacity building, and the removal of impediments to realizing our relationship’s full economic potential.

Building on the success of the first year of the Partnership, we will continue to strengthen our economic and financial partnership in order to realize the full economic and strategic potential of the US-India partnership to achieve maximum benefits for Americans and Indians.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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