Amid growing external headwinds, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves for the United States on Tuesday to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
A range of critical issues, including threats to global economic growth, possible stages of recovery, and a common strategy around cryptocurrency regulation across nations, are expected to be discussed at the meetings. The six-day visit comes just months before India assumes the chairmanship of the G-20 countries in December. Sitharaman will also attend meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors of G-20 countries. She will also sell India’s growth story in her series of meetings with business leaders to attract investment.
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Several international agencies have lowered their growth forecasts for the world as well as for India in recent months, given the tightening of interest rates by major central banks and the war in Ukraine. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, warned last week that the risks of a global recession were growing. The World Trade Organization has also warned of a “cloudy 2023” for trade and economic growth globally.
The World Bank last week drastically cut its FY23 growth forecast for India from 7.5% to 6.5%. Slowing demand in recession-hit advanced economies has already started to hit Indian exports. Of course, India is even better placed to weather the latest crisis.
Sitharaman is due to have one-on-one talks with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and World Bank President David Malpass. Similarly, bilateral meetings to deepen cooperation with several countries, including Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bhutan, New Zealand, Egypt, Germany, are also on today’s agenda.
It will also organize such meetings with leaders and officials from the OECD, European Commission and UNDP.
The finance minister will take part in a fireside chat on “India’s Economic Outlook and Role in the Global Economy” at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
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She is also expected to dwell on the unique history of India’s digital public goods and the multiplier effects that the government has been able to create in the country through the links between “technology, finance and governance” at the School of Advanced International. Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.
Among other scheduled meetings, the Minister of Finance will participate in a roundtable with chambers like USIBC and USISPF on boosting investment and innovation in the India-US Corridor and investing in the revolution Indian digital.