India and the US Tuesday launched a financial and economic partnership, focussing on macro-economic stability, financial sector reforms and infrastructure finance, in an effort to beef up their bilateral relations.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and visiting US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who signed the partnership agreement here, also discussed steps to further reform the global financial system to prevent recurrence of another economic crisis like the one witnessed in 2008.
“This partnership creates a framework that is commensurate with the growing influence of our economic relationship,” Geithner, who is on a two-day visit to India, told reporters at a joint press conference with Mukherjee.
The partnership would facilitate more trade, investment and job creation in the two countries, he added.
“Our expanded partnership will build on our existing dialogue regulatory issues to serve as a vehicle to discuss strategies to promote in both countries, financial sector reform and deepen capital markets.”
Said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee: “We just concluded a very productivity discussion on global and bilateral issues. These included monetary and fiscal polices. All this will reinforce our ties”.
“I am confident that this partnership will unleash the energy and enterprise of people of the two countries and help address global challenges,” he added.
Both countries also discussed the impact of the undervalued Chinese currency Yuan.
The two sides said their talks sought to push India-US economic ties in general and dwelt on greater participation of American firms in India’s infrastructure development.
Mukherjee said India would need at least $600 billion for its infrastructure sector for developing ports, roads and other sectors of the economy.
“The PPP (Public Private Partnerships) model has a potential for further developing infrastructure across the country,” he said, adding this would unlock private sector financing for critical investment.
Geithner said American companies saw opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector.
In a prepared statement earlier, he said US and India needed to work more closely.
“Our ability to cooperate on economic and financial issues will be critically important to the success of global efforts to create conditions for a more stable global financial system, more balanced global economic growth that is less dependent on the willingness of Americans to live beyond our means, more effective and representative international financial institutions and a more open global trading system,” Geithner said.
Geithner will visit Mumbai Wednesday to meet top Indian chief executives.