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U.S. offers support to expand Indian financial system

Special Correspondent

Efforts to develop Mumbai as a global financial centre

— PHOTO: VIVEK BENDRE

TOWARDS EFFICIENT MARKETS: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram (centre), U.S. Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson, and Ratan Tata (left), Chairman, Tata Group, at a forum in Mumbai on Monday.

MUMBAI: U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry M. Paulson, on Monday said the U.S. would support steps to strengthen and expand India’s financial system by developing Mumbai into an International Finance Centre (IFC) and this would be an important agenda when the U.S. begins another session of dialogue with Indian authorities in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“Expansion of the financial sector through the development of Mumbai into an IFC is an enormous opportunity for India. Properly regulated and well regulated financial markets are the economic arteries through which balanced development and inclusive growth flows. Efficient markets provide the means to help all people, including the ones most in need, improve their lives. This is true in India, in the U.S. and around the world,” said Mr. Paulson, while addressing the U.S.-India CEO forum on infrastructure investment conference — 2007 here.

Today Indian firms in Bangalore and other cities play a key role in back office operations of global and multinational firms. In this, India has revolutionalised the way the world does business.

Mr. Paulson said that the U.S. experience could inform the Indian Government as it worked to develop Mumbai into IFC.

Speaking on the investment opportunity in India, P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister, said, “financing infrastructure is critical.”

Welcoming the representatives from India and the U.S., Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, urged business communities to effectively utilise the forum to strengthen the economic relations between both countries.

Later in the day, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, participated in a session with Allan Hubbard, Director, National Economic Council (U.S.) to give an overview of the infrastructure sector in India.

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