As published on business-standard.com, Friday November 1, 2019.
India and the US on Friday committed to enhance cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.
In a joint statement issued after the seventh Meeting of the Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP), the two countries noted that their relationship has strengthened over time as both sides have developed a holistic approach on tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), which are the issues of shared concern.
The Indian delegation was led by Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and the US side was led by Steven Mnuchin, the US Secretary of the Treasury.
"Our cooperation includes but is not limited to, information exchanges to combat global terrorist financing and to support the designation of specific terrorist facilitators and financiers, coordinating on AML/CFT and maintaining the integrity of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) global standards for AML/CFT," the statement said.
It further said India has demonstrated its support for action against non-compliant countries. In addition, India and the United States continue to work on developing AML/CFT frameworks to mitigate the associated illicit finance risks.
The two sides took note of the progress made in sharing financial account information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement pursuant to the FATCA. Both sides will continue to collaborate and share experiences for tackling offshore tax evasion, it added.
During the meeting, India and the US discussed policies to stimulate economic growth and noted the significant steps New Delhi has taken to strengthen the financial sector, including public sector bank recapitalisation and plans to merge some of the state-owned banks.
Both sides also discussed capital flows, investment promotion related issues, and the external economic environment.
According to the statement, both sides took note of the importance of having greater attention to transparency and debt sustainability in bilateral development lending. India and the US both support global efforts to improve debt sustainability and transparency, including through the international financial institutions' multipronged approach and the efforts of the G20 and other groups.
The two countries also re-affirmed their commitment to greater economic cooperation on global economic issues, both bilaterally and multilaterally in the G20 and other fora.
"India and the United States look forward to enhanced collaboration to address the challenges to global growth under the G20 Presidency of Saudi Arabia. As India gears up for the 2022 Presidency of the G20, the United States stands ready to support India in hosting a successful and focused Presidency," the statement said.
It further said India and the US are working together to attract more private sector capital to finance India's infrastructure needs and further raise growth for both countries.
India has set up the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) to catalyze private institutional investment in Indian infrastructure, for which the United States has provided technical support.
The joint statement noted the two sides recognise the importance of foreign portfolio investors for supporting economic growth and discussed ways to build on India's positive steps in further opening to greater foreign portfolio investment.