US Treasury Secretary meets Indian business leaders in Mumbai

     US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke met top business leaders here on Wednesday to discuss the contours of the US-India Economic and financial partnership in the backdrop of series of recently introduced economic reforms in the country. HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh after the meeting said that they discussed in detail the economic reforms and the global situation. "We talked on every situation, the global situation, the quantitative easing, the reforms done in India, the reforms yet to do, what has government yet to do, balanced reforms to be done, how to improve our growth rates, how to improve employment, induce subsidies," he said.

Meanwhile, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Adi Godrej said that it was a very good discussion where both the Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve chairman briefed on the economic situation in the U.S. "We got briefed by both the chairman and secretary on the US economic situation and we briefed them on India and we said that we were very confident that now with the reform process in India taking place we expected India to get back in the near future to the reasonable rate of growth," said Godrej. "We had good general discussion where we all felt that the two large economies, two of the three largest economies in the world to increase in terms of both investment and trade with each other surely increases," he added.

Geithner and Bernanke are presently on a two-day visit to India to participate in the third annual meeting of the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (USIBC). Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had earlier on Tuesday described India 's recent reforms initiatives to be very promising, and said that it would have a positive outcome for the country's economy. "The reforms outlined by the Government of India offer a very promising path to improving growth outcomes for the Indian economy," he said at a press conference in New Delhi along with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Asserting that India has achieved remarkable economic success in the last 15 years, Geithner said: " India is very important to the United States . We have a promising and very rapidly expanding economic relationship. We have a strategic partnership."

Meanwhile, Chidambaram, referring to the joint meetings, said 'this forum has given us a much better opportunity to be able to talk to each other and understand each other'. "As Secretary Geithner mentioned, our relationship is based on common values and interest and deep-rooted ties of friendship between the people of US and the people of India . In today's meetings, we discussed the global economic and financial developments," said Chidambaram. "India is deeply locked into the global economy. Whatever happens in other parts of the world will affect us. And therefore, we must gain a better understanding about the happening in rest of the world, especially the U.S. and the Euro zone," he added.

The visit of USTreasury Secretary assumes significance against the backdrop of the UPA Government taking a slew of reform measures such as permitting foreign investment in multi-brand retail and deciding to raise the FDI cap in insurance.

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