Finance Minister P Chidambaram held discussions with his American counterpart Jack Lew on bilateral economic cooperation as part of the fourth annual meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership. "They (Chidambaram and Lew) agreed that sound macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and strong prudential frameworks will help us increase resilience to financial market volatility and boost economic growth," an official Indian statement said after meeting.
"In the meeting, the two leaders discussed recent economic and financial developments in our two economies and in the world at large, including US fiscal policy. The leaders appreciated that the Partnership has improved their mutual understanding of the challenges that both the economies face," the statement said.
The details of the discussion were also reflected in an India-US joint statement. Chidambaram and Lew held their meeting at the IMF headquarters in Washington as the meeting could not be held at the Department of Treasury because of the ongoing government shutdown.
The meeting, was attended by US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, Securities Exchange Board of India Chairman U P Sinha and US Treasury Undersecretary Lael Brainard, among others.
The two delegations discussed the importance of investment for driving economic growth and job creation in their economies and ways to improve enabling environments to mobilise investment, especially for the financing of infrastructure.
US, India: Investment important for economic growth and employment
In view of the commitment by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh towards a high standard bilateral investment treaty (BIT), Lew and Chidambaram agreed to on increased engagement by experts from both governments. The two underlined the need for expeditious progress to address all trade and investment policy issues of bilateral concern so as to remove obstacles and improve the business environment in both countries.
Chidambaram and Lew agreed to deepen their cooperation bilaterally and also at the multilateral fora, including the G-20, to achieve reforms for stronger, more sustainable and more balanced growth.
"They also reaffirmed the importance of enhancing the credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the urgent need to ratify the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reform," statement said.