New Delhi: The ability of the US and India to cooperate on economic and financial issues will be critical to global efforts to create a more stable global financial system and balanced economic growth, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.
"Our economic relationship presents huge opportunities for both India and the United States, and I look forward to working with you to realise the full potential of this partnership," Geithner said at a news conference after meeting Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Geithner is on a two-day India visit to launch economic and financial partnership talks between the two nations.
"We meet at a time of encouraging prospects for the US and Indian economies, and the beginnings of global economic recovery," he said.
After suffering a severe recession sparked by the subprime mortgage meltdown and the global financial crisis, the US economy has now grown for three straight quarters. The Commerce Department reported in late March that US gross domestic product rose at a 5.6 percent annual rate in the October-December period, its third estimate for the final quarter of 2009.
"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," Geithner said.
The US has started sweeping reforms from healthcare to infrastructure, and aims to restore fiscal stability as the world emerges from recession, Geithner said.
India navigated the financial crisis with a steady hand and has emerged from the global recession stronger and faster than most other large economies, Geithner said.
India`s gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent in the October-December quarter. The government forecasts the economy to have grown at least 7.2 percent in the fiscal year that just ended March 31.
However, both economies face the challenge of distributing the gains from economic expansion across their populations, Geithner said.
"Economic growth must be about improving the prospects for all our citizens," he added.