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Forum for India - U.S. dialogue on Financial and Economic matters

Washington, DC
April 17, 2000

India’s Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Summers, signed here today a document setting up the India-United States Financial and Economic Forum. India's Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Naresh Chandra, Secretary (Economic affairs), Dr. E. A. S. Sarma, the Indian Executive Directors on the Boards of the World Bank and the I.M.F., Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank were among those present at the signing.

The Forum is part of the broader economic and commercial dialogue between the two countries envisaged in the "Vision Statement" issued by Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Clinton during the U.S. President's recent visit to India.

The objective of the Forum is to strengthen the financial and economic relationship between India and the United States through regular government-to-government meetings of economic policy makers. The Forum is to be headed by the Indian Finance Minister and the U.S. Treasury Secretary who are expected to meet on an annual basis. These meetings are to be supplemented by sub-Cabinet level meetings of officials of the two governments and will involve, as appropriate, the participation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve System, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Council of Economic Advisors and, on the Indian side, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the Reserve Bank of India.

The sub-cabinet level meetings are expected to focus on the strengthening and development of financial services through mutual exchange of experiences on issues relating to capital markets in the two countries and macro-economic and investment issues such as, structural reform, fiscal and monetary policies, and bilateral trade issues.

After the signing ceremony, the two sides held bilateral discussions in which the subject of the first meeting of the Forum was also raised. It was agreed that this meeting may be held prior to the next meeting of the Heads of Government envisaged in the Vision Statement.