Barack Obama for higher share for India in IMF, other institutions

US President Barack Obama Sunday affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's 'voice and vote' in global financial institutions like IMF.

New Delhi: US President Barack Obama Sunday affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's 'voice and vote' in global financial institutions like IMF.

Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the importance of strengthening international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said a joint statement issued after a meeting between the two leaders here.

"The President also affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's voice and vote in international financial institutions and ensuring that resources are made available and used creatively through multilateral development banks for infrastructure financing," it said.

India has been pressing for higher voting rights in IMF which would reflect its growing influence in world economy.

The proposed quota reform in IMF, once implemented, will increase India's voting share from the current 2.44 percent to 2.75 percent, following which country will become the eighth largest quota holder at the IMF, up from the 11th position.

The statement also said that Modi appreciated the efforts of the US Treasury for co-operating with the Finance Ministry on the Task Force on Resolution Corporation, set up in pursuance of recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission.

The two leaders also expressed confidence that continued bilateral collaboration will increase opportunities for investment, improve trade and investment and lead to creation of more jobs and prosperity in both the economies.

In this regard, they agreed to continue to strengthen their broad-based partnership for development through stronger trade, technology, manufacturing and investment linkages between the two countries and triangular cooperation with partner countries.

They also instructed their officials to assess the prospects for moving forward with high-standard bilateral investment treaty discussions given their respective approaches.

Besides, the two sides agreed to hold discussions on elements required in both countries to pursue Indo-US Totalisation Agreement. 

The joint statement said the US Trade and Development Agency signed three MoUs with Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to develop Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer as smart cities with participation from the American industry, in furtherance of the commitment made by the two leaders in September, 2014.

On WTO front, the two sides committed to continuing co-operation on the finalisation of the post-Bali work programme in the spirit of Doha mandate.

They "welcomed" the breakthrough between India and the US on issues relating to the implementation of Bali talks on public stockholding for food security purposes, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and post Bali work.

Obama commended Modi's 'Jan Dhan' scheme for financial inclusion of India's poor. "The leaders noted India's intent to join the Better Than Cash Alliance," it said

Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments.

The two countries committed to exploring areas of collaboration in skill development, ranging from establishing quality assurance systems for skilling certification standards, setting up of skill development centres, nurturing and promoting social entrepreneurship and strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

They also agreed to collaborate on implementation of India's ambitious Digital India programme and expand commercial cooperation, including by encouraging investment engagement in the ICT sector.

"In recognition of the importance of their ongoing commercial discussions, the two sides agreed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the aegis of the India-US Commercial Dialogue for a period of two years, until March 2016, on mutually agreed areas of cooperation," the statement said.

Recognising the progress made in constructive engagement on Intellectual Property, the leaders also looked forward to enhancing engagement on IPR this year under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property, to the mutual benefit of both the countries.

Both nations reiterated their interest in sharing information and best practices on IPR issues, and reaffirmed their commitment to stakeholders' consultations on policy matters concerning intellectual property protection.

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