Washington: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has left for New Delhi to launch the Indo-US Economic and Financial Partnership which according to him would set the
pace and put and economic relationship between the two countries on a new trajectory.
"The newly-formed Partnership aims to strengthen
bilateral engagement and understanding on macroeconomic,
financial sector and infrastructure-related issues," said the
Treasury Department as Geithner left for India accompanied by
the Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and a number of
other senior officials from the administration last evening.
counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi, and the two leaders
would lead their respective countries in a discussion of
bilateral and global macroeconomic and financial-sector
The discussions would be carried forward in greater
depth in a number of working groups that will take place in
the afternoon with a number of Indian officials and US senior
Geithner and Mukherjee are scheduled to address a
joint press conference later in the day.
In the afternoon, Geithner would have discussions with
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Planning Commission Deputy
Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The day is likely to conclude with a moderated
discussion with Ahluwalia before an audience of leading public
officials and business representatives, focus on post-crisis
prospects for financial and economic reform, followed by a
small dinner with Indian thought and opinion leaders.
On Wednesday, Geithner will travel to Mumbai to hold a
roundtable discussion with US financial companies and Indian
entrepreneurs to explore successful strategies and business
models being utilised in India to expand banking services to
In his pre-trip interview with a group of Indian
media, Geithner said "India is economically and strategically
important" for the US and the main purpose of his visit to New
Delhi and Mumbai is to "establish a long-term" relationship
"One reason I am going to India is to get a better
sense of what is happening there -- both in the economy and
the broaden reform process in the financial sector and
elsewhere. As always I am going to make sure that the leaders
in Indian get to understand directly from me how we are
managing are challenges here and how thing feel here," he
"I think that in anytime we have these kinds of
conversations with a major partner, we spend a lot of time
talking about the basic economic challenges in both countries.
In the India case, it is more important and a little
different cause not just because India is so important to us
economically and strategically but it is going to be important
because we`re at a point in the broaden G20 progress, it is
very important that the two countries work closely together in
trying to set the agenda of reform in that processes," he
There is a huge amount of promise in that framework
for cooperation of international, economic and financial
issues, he added.
Geithner, who lived in New Delhi from 1968 to 1973
when his father was posted there as the Deputy Resident
Representative for the Ford Foundation, said he considers this
a great gift for him.
Vividly recollecting his days of stay in New Delhi as
he travelled to various parts of India along with his father,
Geithner said: "I grew up with my parents friends who were
people involved in development at a time when it was a great
era of optimism and development.
Geithner said it was a time of really great durable
achievements in the broaden development area so it was a nice
thing to be exposed to early in life.
The Treasury Secretary said as a young child he was
able to see how much of India lives to not just in extreme
poverty but in a country with India`s great opened dynamism
tradition is a great gift for an American.
"To watch and see how the impact America had on the
world for good and sometimes not so good is a great gift to
have as a young kid," he said.
Geithner says it is in New Delhi that he learned to
play cricket and baseball. In fact, his office provided to the
Indian media a rare and exclusive picture of his playing
baseball in New Delhi as a kid.
"I was lucky, I learned not just to play cricket but I
learned to play baseball," he said; but was quick to add he
can no longer play cricket.
After he left India in 1973, Geithner has had to go
back to India about four times since ? all for official or
"I have not spent very much time there and I have not
travelled extensively since then," he said.