RBI Governor meets World Bank President during G20 meeting

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GANDHINAGAR (Gujarat): Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das met World Bank President Ajay Banga during the G20 Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and discussed various issues.

Taking to Twitter, the Reserve Bank of India said, “Governor @DasShaktikanta and Ajay Banga, President, @WorldBank met at #Gandhinagar during the #G20summit and held discussions on a range of issues.”

Indian-American Ajay Banga, who is in Gandhinagar in Gujarat to attend the third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, had earlier spoken with ANI on Monday and said that he is more optimistic today about India economically than he has been for a long time and lauded the government’s initiatives towards digitization of infrastructure.

The World Bank President referred to IMF and World Bank predictions about the world getting a little challenging for a year or so and asserted that a forecast is not destiny.

In an exclusive interview with ANI on the sidelines of the meeting, Banga said digitisation has made it easier for people to access services and he is a “big fan” of it.

“You can’t just do digitization of lending without digitizing the infrastructure. What India has done over the last 15-20 years, is digitising the infrastructure. And that is enabling all these terrific applications to be built, which makes it easier for people to access services online. So I’m a big fan of it,” he said.

“I am more optimistic today about India as a whole, economically, than I have been for a long time,” he added.
Banga is the first person of Indian origin to head either the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

“The fact is that the world economy is in a difficult place. It has outperformed what everybody thought. But it does not mean it won’t be more challenging. The IMF forecast, the World Bank forecast is that the world will get a little challenging for a year or so but as I said in my speech this morning, the forecast is not equal to destiny. We can change destiny. And that’s what you should think about,” he added.

The World Bank President also stated that India has enormous opportunities for financing for cities. “…Nobody has ever done enough on everything,” Banga added.

Talking about private sector investment, Banga said that there is no easy answer to private sector capital.

“What I’m trying to do is to set up a private sector investment Lab,” he said.

The Lab is headed by Mark Carney and Shriti Vadera and 15 CEOs have agreed to become a part of it.  The investment lab is co-Chaired by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and Co-Chair of GFANZ, and Shriti Vadera, Chair of Prudential plc.

The Lab will meet regularly and report directly to Ajay Banga and World Bank Group leadership.

Banga said they will meet every month and “they will give us some ideas to help reduce the friction for the private sector to invest in the emerging markets”.

“So I don’t have the answers for you yet. But over the next few months, we will learn more.”

The World Bank last week named 15 Chief Executive Officers and Chairs who will make up the Private Sector Investment Lab.

“The World Bank is on a mission to create a world free of poverty – but on a livable planet. Achieving this vision demands that we build a better bank, but also reimagine partnerships and pull in the private sector to confront – and beat – intertwined development challenges like poverty, climate, and fragility, Banga had said.

“The business leaders who are lending their time, talents, and expertise to this work are a crucial piece of the puzzle, and I am beyond grateful to have them onboard. Results won’t come overnight, but if successful this group has the potential to unlock significant investment that will deliver jobs and better quality of life for people living throughout the Global South – the surest way to drive a nail into the coffin of poverty.”

Banga, a finance and development expert,  took over as World Bank President last month. (ANI)

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