US treasury secretary to visit New Delhi on Nov 11, to meet FM Nirmala Sitharaman | The Financial Express

US treasury secretary to visit New Delhi on Nov 11, to meet FM Nirmala Sitharaman

She will meet finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss India’s assumption of the G20 presidency in December.

US treasury secretary to visit New Delhi on Nov 11, to meet FM Nirmala Sitharaman
US treasury secretary Janet Yellen (IE)

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen will visit India on November 11 to further bolster bilateral economic relationship, including through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and stronger supply chains, according to a Treasury statement on Friday.

Trade analysts feel Yellen may seek to pursuade India to join the crucial “trade pillar” of the US-led IPEF initiative, viewed by some analysts as a mechanism to counter the aggressive and non-transparent trade and economic policies of China.

In September, India opted out of the “trade pillar” but decided to be on board for the other three pillars of the IPEF, such as the resilient economy (supply chain), clean economy (clean energy, decarbonisation, and infrastructure) and fair economy (anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and tax).

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Yellen will participate in a meeting of the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) on November 11 and then proceed to participate in the G20 Summit in Indonesia the next day.

She will meet finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss India’s assumption of the G20 presidency in December. “The secretary will also welcome India’s assumption of the G20 presidency next month and discuss opportunities to make progress on global challenges through global climate action, evolving the multilateral development banks (MDBs), further strengthening global health architecture, and advancing debt relief for low-income countries and emerging markets,” the Treasury said in the statement.

Following the EFP dialogue, Yellen will join Sitharaman for a fireside discussion with executives from major Indian companies and American companies operating in this country. Earlier in the day, she will meet with technology sector leaders and visit the Microsoft India Development Center.

As for the IPEF, lack of clarity on the nature of binding commitments, especially in digital trade, labour and environment, and fears of hasty pledges undermining its still-evolving policies in areas like data privacy had prompted India to opt out of the “trade pillar”, sources had then said.

The meeting with Sitharaman comes at a time when the G-20 group continues to struggle with divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as this year’s leaders’ summit in Indonesia approaches.

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Russia, a G20 member, has blocked the group from issuing communiques condemning its Ukraine invasion.

Apart from rallying global support to “hold Russia accountable for its brutal war in Ukraine” during these meetings and events, Yellen will also help lead the global response to macroeconomic challenges, including economic disruptions and elevated global inflation from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, which are particularly harmful to low-and middle-income countries, according to the statement.

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First published on: 05-11-2022 at 03:00 IST