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India offers US $600 bn investment opp in infrastructure

delhi Updated: Apr 06, 2010 20:54 IST

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India on Tuesday asked US investors to participate in its $600 billion infrastructure programme in the next five years, even as America sought greater financial cooperation for bringing about global economic stability.

"Deepening our ties with India is critical to the broader global effort to develop a framework for strong... And balanced growth and will facilitate more trade, investment and job creation in our two countries," US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Geithner's two-day visit, his first as Treasury Secretary, comes ahead of Manmohan Singh's visit to the US from Sunday for a nuclear security summit. Singh is likely to meet US President Barack Obama, who had earlier described India as an "indispensable partner in securing the future prosperity and security of the world."

Addressing a joint press conference to announce the launch of the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership, Mukherjee said: "Immense opportunities are there for investment in the infrastructure sector. As much as $600 billion can be invested in port, communications, road... In the next five years."

The India-US Financial and Economic Partnership would help strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on macro-economic financial sector and infrastructure related issues.

Geithner said that such a cooperation would be critical for a stable global financial system, more balanced global economic growth "that is less dependent on the willingness of Americans to live beyond our means... And a more open global trading system."

The US Treasury Secretary, who had spent five years of his childhood in Delhi's posh New Friend's Colony, said: "India has navigated the financial crisis with a steady hand and has emerged from the global recession stronger and faster than most other large economies."

He appreciated India's commitment on policy reforms and said: "During our discussions the Minister (Mukherjee) and his colleagues outlined the opportunity and challenges ahead for the Indian economy and the policy reforms they are undertaking to raise the rate of overall economic growth..."

Mukherjee said: "The discussion held today focused on global development with a special emphasis on US and Indian economies including monetary and fiscal policies, financial sector regulations and managing capital flow, infrastructure finance and Public Private Partnership (PPP)."

Geithner also held discussions with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. MORE