Washington — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has praised India’s economic reforms, which he said will help lay a foundation “for stronger economic growth, an increase in investment and more widespread gains in income.”
Speaking to reporters after the 2012 U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership meeting in Delhi October 9, Geithner said he and Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram reviewed the opportunities for expansion of Indian firms in the United States and U.S. firms in India.
India’s plan to invest $1 trillion over the next five years to develop its infrastructure offers huge investment opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors, the secretary and minister said in a joint statement released at the end of the meeting.
“We are committed to make these investments to enhance competitiveness of our economies and to prepare our people and industry to compete in today’s globalized world,” Geithner and Chidambaram said in the statement. “Infrastructure debt funds and other recent capital market reforms offer huge investment opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors.”
The annual U.S.-India partnership meetings that began in 2010 represent the highest level of engagement between the two countries. “The rapidly expanding financial and economic relationship between our two countries is at the core of our multifaceted relationship and is based on shared values and an increasing convergence of interests,” Geithner and Chidambaram said.
Geithner noted that President Obama has identified the U.S.-India relationship as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”
Geithner and Chidambaram declared that their governments will work together at the Group of 20 (G20) and other international groups to help steer the global economy through uncertainties toward strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Bilaterally, they promised stronger cooperation to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Last month, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats hosted the India Investment Forum in New York, where he said that U.S.-India trade has reached nearly $100 billion. He said the two countries are in the process of negotiating a bilateral investment treaty to make sure that figure grows bigger.
India is the world’s ninth largest economy with a gross domestic product of about $2 trillion. It is projected to grow into the world’s third largest economy and its fifth largest consumer market by 2025, according to Hormats.
India’s infrastructure investment plan is attracting $24 billion in foreign direct investment from the United States that is “modernizing supply chains, building new airports and power plants and helping to forge the Indian economy of the future,” Hormats said.
Conversely, India’s foreign direct investment in the United States reached $3.3 billion in 2010 and has contributed to the creation of 30,000 new jobs in the United States, he said.