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Government of India
Ministry of Finance
08-November-2010 12:54 IST
FM Calls for Collective and Collaborative Approach Not Unilateralism to Deal with any Global Crisis
Negotiations on for India-US Bilateral Investment Treaty: FM
Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that we are all witnessing to an emerging new world order where there is a higher degree of interdependence amongst nations and more dynamic and equitable arrangement for prosperity. Shri Mukherjee said that we have learnt a lesson from the current global crisis that remedy lies in collective and corroborative approach-not in unilateralism. Shri Mukherjee was addressing the Indo-US CEOs Forum meeting, here today. Shri Mukherjee said that in our anxiety to solve problem in one part of the World, we should not create greater problems in other parts of the World and more so in the Emerging Markets Developing Countries (EMDCs).

The meeting was attended by US Treasury Secretary, Mr. Timothy Geithner, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack from US side and Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Anand Sharma, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia from Indian side among others. Besides, the meeting was also attended by the CEOs of different US and Indian Companies, part of Indo-US CEOs Forum.

The Finance Minister said that India has emerged as an attractive global investment destination. He told that in infrastructure sector alone, the investment requirement is US dollar 514 billion for the Eleventh Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12), out of which almost 30% of this investment is envisaged to come from private sources. Shri Mukherjee further said that for the Twelfth Five Year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17), the investment in infrastructure is envisaged at US dollar 1 trillion. He told that this magnitude of investment would require innovative modes of financing.

As far as Indo-US bilateral relations are concerned, the Finance Minister said that economic policy, finance and trade constitute important planks of our relationship. Shri Mukherjee said that for us, the US remains a prime source of investment, technology and an important trading partner. He said that as we make efforts to increase investment in infrastructure, and give a fresh impetus to the manufacturing sector, the importance of our partnership with the US will increase. This mutually beneficial engagement would stimulate innovation, spur job creation, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth in our countries, the Minister added.

Shri Mukherjee said that we have set-up a Committee to consider the recommendations of the Indo-US CEO’s Forum under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairmanship of Planning Commission and the Committee has already met twice. He said that Treasury Secretary Mr. Geithner and he launched the Financial and Economic Partnership when Mr. Geithner visited Delhi in April this year. The Finance Minister said that the Partnership will strengthen engagement in economic, financial and investment related issues. He further added that both the countries are currently negotiating a Bilateral Investment Treaty and are committed to take further initiatives that will contribute to creating a more conducive environment for investment flows.

The Finance Minister, Shri Mukherjee concluded his opening remarks by reiterating his Government’s as well as his personal commitment as the Finance Minister to look into the Forum’s recommendations.

The complete text of the opening remarks made by Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee while addressing Indo-US CEOs Forum Meeting is given below:

“I welcome you to India and thank you sincerely for travelling to Delhi for the meeting of the CEOs Forum. We look forward to this forum both to identify areas for cooperation and to suggest how government can help the industry achieve the goals. We had a productive meeting in June in Washington DC and I am glad that we are able to meet again on this historic occasion of President Obama’s visit to India. There was an extremely successful business summit in Mumbai as well as round tables with CEOs and entrepreneurs. As President Obama said in Mumbai and our Prime Minister has said repeatedly, our two sides agree that we must give the highest priority to fully harnessing the enormous potential for economic cooperation.

I greatly value your engagement and support to help build a shared vision of the Indo-US partnership. This forum has emerged as an important platform for our two countries to focus on challenges and issues of common interest, for expanding our bilateral trade and investment, for the stability of the global financial system, to promote research and technology development and work in the areas of education and public health.

As we meet here today, the world economy is showing signs of emerging from the global slowdown following one of the deepest downturns that we have witnessed in recent times. The pace and shape of the recovery across countries, both in the developed and the emerging world, is however varied and perhaps uncertain in some instances. At home, we have done better than what was perhaps anticipated. While we have got certain things right, there are others that need our attention and follow-up, both at the international as well as the national levels.

The financial crisis has compelled us to rethink some of the basic principles of economics and finance, the functioning of financial markets and the global economy. Leaders of the G20 countries have come together to discuss global financial instability and the resulting economic slowdown. They are finding ways to ensure better regulation of markets, strengthening the monitoring and response mechanisms to global developments and promoting growth in a sustainable manner. This is a big change. Indeed, we are all witness to an emerging new world order where there is a higher degree of interdependence amongst nations and, hopefully, there is also a more dynamic and equitable arrangement for global prosperity. One lesson we are to learn from this global crisis is that, remedy lies in collective and collaborative approach- not in unilateralism. In our anxiety to solve problem in one part of the World , we should not create greater problems in other parts of the World and more so in the EMDCs.

India has emerged as an attractive global investment destination. In infrastructure sector alone the investment requirement is US dollar 514 billion for the Eleventh Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12). Almost 30% of this investment is envisaged to come from private sources. For the Twelfth Five Year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17), the investment in infrastructure is envisaged at US dollar 1 trillion. This magnitude of investment would require innovative modes of financing.

Economic policy, finance and trade constitute important planks of our bilateral relations. For us, the US remains a prime source of investment, technology and an important trading partner. As we make efforts to increase investment in infrastructure, and give a fresh impetus to the manufacturing sector, the importance of our partnership with the US will increase. This mutually beneficial engagement would stimulate innovation, spur job creation, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth in our countries.

We have set -up a Committee to consider the recommendations of the Indo-US CEO’s Forum under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairmanship of Planning Commission and the Committee has already met twice.

You are all aware that Secretary Geithner and I launched the Financial and Economic Partnership when he visited Delhi in April this year. The Partnership will strengthen engagement in economic, financial and investment related issues. We are currently negotiating a Bilateral Investment Treaty and are committed to take further initiatives that will contribute to creating a more conducive environment for investment flows.

I look forward to hearing from you in the days ahead, and to working with you. Let me reiterate my Government’s and my personal commitment as The Finance Minister to look into the Forum’s recommendations. Thank you for joining us today and I wish you all the best in your endeavours”.

DSM/BY/GN