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Yellen Traveling to India for G20 Summit, Vietnam for Bilateral Talks

Yellen Traveling to India for G20 Summit, Vietnam for Bilateral Talks

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit India this week to meet with finance ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) nations before continuing on to Vietnam for bilateral talks, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

Ms. Yellen will travel to Gandhinagar, India, from July 13 to 21 to participate in the G20 meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors, according to the department.

During the meetings, Ms. Yellen will emphasize the need for concrete progress on global challenges, including on debt and the evolution of multilateral development banks, and push for collective efforts on debt sustainability.

“With over half of all low-income countries at high risk of or in debt distress, it is critical that we take collective action to help put them—and by extension the global economy—on a surer footing,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The U.S. diplomat will hold bilateral talks with Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni during her visit.

According to the department, Ms. Yellen’s participation at the G20 summit will help deepen the relationship between the United States and India, a nation President Joe Biden referred to as “one of America’s indispensable partners.”

In Vietnam, Ms. Yellen will meet with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, finance minister Ho Duc Phoc, and other finance officials to discuss deepening economic ties.

Her visit will focus on building supply chains with trusted partners like Vietnam through the concept of “friendshoring.” Washington seeks to partner with Vietnam to power a global clean energy transition.

“At home, we’ve made an unprecedented investment through the Inflation Reduction Act to meet our emissions targets and spur on hundreds of billions of dollars of private investment in green technology – investments which will drive a positive spillover globally through lower costs,” the department said.

“And in Vietnam, we have worked with the International Partners Group to mobilize over $15 billion to support the country’s energy transition,” it added.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 8, 2023. (Pedro Pardo/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This followed Ms. Yellen’s recent visit to China aimed at stabilizing relations between the world’s two largest economies. The Biden administration seeks to “deepen communication” with the Chinese Communist Party on the global macroeconomy and financial developments.

Ms. Yellen has said that the United States seeks a healthy relationship with China and called for “cooperation on the urgent global challenges of our day,” such as climate change and debt distress.

US–India Ties

It also comes just weeks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States, which was focused on strengthening defense and technological cooperation between the two countries.

First Lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden greet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on June 22, 2023. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The United States is India’s largest trading partner, and bilateral trade between the two countries rose in 2022–23 by more than 7.65 percent to reach a record of $128.55 billion, according to statistics from India’s Commerce Ministry. The increase occurred at a time when India’s bilateral trade with China fell by 1.5 percent to $113.38 billion.

Modi has sought a greater role for India in the global arena, and has been eager to portray the world’s largest democracy as the natural leader of the global South—a region that is also the prime focus of China’s foreign policy. Modi said India can give a voice to developing countries’ long-neglected aspirations.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has in recent years attracted significant investment from electronics giants, becoming a major hub for the production of smartphones, computers, and cameras, including flagship goods from Apple and Samsung.

Venus Upadhayaya and Reuters contributed to this report.

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