Both sides agreed on the importance of fighting financial crimes

India and the US on Friday pledged to take forward the bilateral cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and coordination.

The eighth ministerial meeting of the India-USA Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue was held at Washington DC on Friday. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States Janet Yellen.

“Both sides agree on the importance of fighting financial crimes and on the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards to protect our financial systems from abuse,” said the Joint Statement issued after the meeting.

The joint statement said that during the ministerial meeting, discussions were held on a range of subjects, including the macroeconomic outlook and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, financial regulatory and technical collaboration, multilateral engagement, climate finance and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

“Both sides affirmed their commitments to continue collaboration both at bilateral and multilateral fora to address mutual and global economic issues and strive towards amicable strategies and solutions,” it noted.

The two sides acknowledged the unprecedented impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on lives and livelihoods.

They also addressed the importance of maintaining supportive policies until a strong and inclusive recovery is firmly entrenched, it pointed out.

“Today’s meeting featured the Economic and Financial Partnership’s first session dedicated to climate finance, reflecting our respective commitments to driving urgent progress in combating climate change and the critical role of climate finance in achieving this shared global goal,” the statement informed.

“We shared views on the re-energized global efforts to increase climate ambition as well as our respective domestic efforts to meet our publicly expressed climate goals. We agreed that public finance, when paired with enabling policies, can promote private finance,” it said.

The two countries reaffirmed the collective developed country goal to mobilize $100 billion annually for developing countries from public and private sources, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, the statement further said.

The two countries intended to engage further on addressing climate change between our two ministries, as well as through the Finance Mobilization pillar of the recently launched Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) under the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, it explained.

According to the statement, both nations reemphasized their commitment to the central role of multilateral cooperation in addressing global challenges.

They affirmed their commitment to debt sustainability and transparency in bilateral lending, it further stated.

The two countries acknowledged the importance of working through multilateral development banks to help India access and mobilize available financing to support development objectives, including for climate, the statement added.

The two nations took note of the progress made in sharing financial account information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), it informed.

They reiterated to continue to engage in discussions on full reciprocal arrangement on FATCA and looked forward to continued collaboration for increased cooperation in sharing of information for tackling offshore tax evasion, the statement said.

Arguing that the two countries plan to continue engaging on these and other global economic issues both multilaterally and bilaterally, it said, India and the United States look forward to continued collaboration to support the global recovery under the G20 Presidency of Indonesia next year.

As India prepares for its 2023 G20 Presidency, the United States stands ready to support India in hosting a successful and productive year, the statement mentioned.

The United States and India look forward to discussions on emerging financial sector topics, such as cross-border payments and payment systems and the development of the International Financial Services Centre at GIFT City, it explained.

The two sides are continuing their successful collaboration on attracting more private sector capital to finance India’s infrastructure needs, which will support growth in both countries, the statement added further.

It said that the United States continues to provide technical support to India’s National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF), including the scaling of debt and equity platforms devoted to renewable energy and implementing new environmental, social, and corporate governance policies to meet international standards, while catalyzing private institutional investment in Indian infrastructure.

The two nations are also collaborating through continued technical support for the issuance of municipal bonds, including Green Bonds, for critical urban infrastructure improvements, the statement said.

India and the United States also looked forward to working together to prepare more cities to issue municipal bonds, it added further.