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US Urges Reforms to Boost Trade With India


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee smile after signing a joint statement on the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership, Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee smile after signing a joint statement on the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership, Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The United States is calling on India to complete necessary financial reforms in order to boost trade between the two countries, and increase U.S. firms' access to the Indian consumer market.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that American companies still face barriers in India in sectors such as banking, insurance, manufacturing and retail. But he noted that proposed reforms in India, including the government's plans to open up $1 trillion in infrastructure financing to the private sector, will help ease some of these barriers.

Geithner made the comments after meeting with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Washington. The economic talks are the second round of an annual dialogue launched last year in India.

Mukherjee told a forum on Monday that the necessary legislation to reform the country's financial sector has been introduced in India's parliament and that the government was seeking political consensus for its passage.

The U.S. Treasury Department says between 2000 and 2010, Indian exports to the United States grew by nearly 180 percent and American exports to India more than quadrupled.

The Treasury says that despite this progress, and especially given the size of the U.S. and Indian economies, there remains "untapped potential" and opportunity to boost trade and investment between both countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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