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Speeches and Remarks 2009

Statement by Secretary Geithner at the Launch of the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership

April 6, 2010
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee

Thank you.

Minister Mukherjee and I just concluded an important meeting to launch the U.S. - India Economic and Financial Partnership. I want to thank the Minister and his staff at the Ministry for being such gracious hosts. As you all know, the Minister has been key to the economic reform process that began in India years ago. It is an honor to be seated with him here today.

We meet at a time of encouraging prospects for the U.S. and Indian economies, and the beginnings of global economic recovery.

A year ago, the heads of state of India and the United States came together in London with the leaders of the other members of the G-20 and embarked on a powerful and coordinated program of economic stimulus. They committed to act to restore stability to the financial systems of the major economies, to provide financial support to emerging and developing economies on a dramatic scale, to keep markets open to trade and investment, to restore growth in their own economies, and to lay the foundation for international financial reform.

Those actions worked, and the world is now starting to come out of the great recession, the most severe crisis since the Great Depression.
In the U.S., the economy has now been growing for three quarters. While unemployment remains unacceptably high, the private sector has added jobs during four of the past five months, private investment is increasing, productivity growth is very high, the financial system is recovering, private savings have improved, and our economy is now borrowing significantly less from the rest of the world.

We are also engaged in an important set of reforms to improve our private health care system, to strengthen our education system, to rebuild our infrastructure, to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, to restore fiscal sustainability, and to fundamentally restructure and reform our financial system.

India navigated this financial crisis with a steady hand, and has emerged from the global recession stronger and faster than most other large economies.

During our discussions today, the Minister and his colleagues outlined the opportunities and challenges ahead for the Indian economy, and the policy reforms they are undertaking to raise the rate of overall economic growth, and to extend the benefits of growth more broadly. India has a dynamic entrepreneurial private sector, a demonstrated ability to compete in the global market, and a commitment to quality higher education. With those strengths and the Minister's proposed reforms, India's economic growth, already impressive, will be even stronger in the future.

Although we start from different positions, we face some problems in common, such as how to design a private financial system that can finance future innovation, how to extend financial services more broadly to people outside the banking system, and how to finance our very substantial infrastructure needs in ways that effectively leverage private investment. We also face the urgent challenge of making sure that the gains from economic growth in both of our countries are broadly shared. Economic growth must be about improving the prospects for all our citizens.

India has made remarkable progress, and I am grateful to the Minister for giving me the chance to learn more about what is happening across the Indian economy.

Mr. Minister, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh recognize that, as two of the world's largest economies, we need to work more closely together. 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.

President Obama remains committed to strengthening our bilateral relationship. As he said, "India is an indispensable partner in securing the future prosperity and security of the world."

Our economic relationship presents huge opportunities for both India and the United States, and I look forward to working with you to realize the full potential of this Partnership.