US treasury secretary Timothy F Geithner, on his first visit to India, called for closer ties between the two countries to create balanced global economic growth; while India on its part sought greater US investment in its $600 billion (Rs2,66,2800 crore) infrastructure programme in the next five years.
"Deepening our ties with India is critical to the broader global effort to develop a framework for strong and balanced growth and will facilitate more trade, investment and job creation in our two countries," Geithner told a press conference after meeting prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
Geithner's two-day visit, his first as treasury secretary, comes ahead of Manmohan Singh's visit to the US from Sunday for a nuclear security summit. Singh is likely to meet US president Barack Obama, who had earlier described India as an "indispensable partner in securing the future prosperity and security of the world".
Addressing a joint press conference to announce the launch of the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership, Mukherjee said, "Immense opportunities are there for investment in the infrastructure sector. As much as $600 billion can be invested in port, communications, roads ... in the next five years."
The partnership would help strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on macro-economic financial sector and infrastructure related issues, and is expected to be instrumental in discussing strategies to promote financial sector reforms in both the countries.
Mukherjee said India and the US had substantial infrastructure needs, and both would seek to create a stronger dialogue on an ongoing basis for a potential private-public partnership in order to unleash critical infrastructure investment.