As prepared for
DELHI, INDIA - Good afternoon. Thank you to Finance
Minister Chidambaram and his colleagues for hosting the third meeting of our
Economic and Financial Partnership, and for their gracious arrangements.
India is very important to the United States, and I came
here to demonstrate our commitment to building on the progress of the last
several years. We have a very promising and rapidly expanding economic
and financial relationship. We have a strong strategic partnership with
close cooperation on security issues.
We meet at an important time in the global economy, and
during a period of significant economic reform in India and the United
States. Both of our economies have been affected by Europe’s crisis and
by slower growth in Asia and around the world.
India has achieved remarkable economic success in the last
15 years. The recent reforms advanced by Prime Minister Singh and
Minister Chidambaram will help provide a foundation for stronger economic
growth, an increase in investment, and more widespread gains in income.
In the United States, we have made a lot of progress
repairing the damage caused by our financial crisis, and laying a foundation
for stronger future growth. Of course, we still have a lot of challenges
ahead of us in improving job growth and in the area of fiscal reforms.
The Finance Minister and I were joined by Federal Reserve
Chairman Bernanke and Governor Subbarao of the Reserve Bank of India.
We had a very good, substantive discussion about the
economic outlook, the risks and challenges, for the U.S. and Indian economies
and the global economy.
We also discussed ways our two economies can lower barriers
to trade and investment to facilitate stronger growth and job creation for our
We reviewed progress on financial development and
reform. In this context, we discussed ways U.S. investors and businesses
can best help contribute to India’s investment and infrastructure needs.
And we reviewed the opportunities for further expansion of Indian firms in the
United States and U.S. firms in India.
We agreed on the importance of improving coordination on
bilateral tax matters, including with respect to our tax treaty and
implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to address
offshore tax evasion.
We agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation on issues
relating to illicit finance, including efforts to combat money laundering,
terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
And we will continue our close cooperation in the G20 and
the international financial institutions, working to strengthen the global
economy and the international financial system.
I look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister later
today and I will have the privilege of conveying President Obama’s best wishes
to him. President Obama has always been clear about his belief that the
relationship between our countries, “bound by our shared interests and our
shared values, will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st
century.” This is the partnership we are building toward today.