India worried about risks to global recovery amid growing uncertainty: Sitharaman

BENGALERU : Multilateralism has become more critical as the world goes through a phase of exceptional uncertainty, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said when meeting World Bank Group President David Malpass on Saturday in Washington DC.

She said India remained concerned about risks to the global recovery due to growing uncertainty amid heightened geopolitical tensions.

The pair discussed a host of issues including the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, India’s continued recovery from COVID19, India’s G20 Presidency, among others.

During the meeting, Sitharaman stressed that India’s response to the pandemic has focused on the twin goals of saving lives and livelihoods. India has successfully carried out the second largest vaccination program in the world, administering more than 1.85 billion doses of vaccines, the finance ministry said in a press release on Saturday.

“The Minister also highlighted India’s roadmap for infrastructure development and looks forward to the continued support of the World Bank to finance the investments of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and the PM Gati Shakti programme,” according to the Ministry of Finance.

Sitharaman, who is in Washington D.C. to attend the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, said during his speech at the World Bank Development Committee meeting that India voluntarily offered the Covid platform Vaccine Intelligence Network #CoWIN to all countries and is also willing to provide support for other public goods platforms, recognizing the importance of replicating proven and scalable digital platforms.

During the meeting, the minister also drew attention to the unprecedented situation in Sri Lanka and hoped for decisive relief for the island nation, the finance ministry said in a tweet.

She recalled that India’s growth projection of 8.9% was the highest of all major economies, reflecting India’s resilience and strong recovery.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also met with global business leaders including Boeing to discuss investment opportunities in the world’s fastest growing major economy.

During the meeting with Being Defense CEO and President Ted Colbert, Sitharaman discussed investment and growth opportunities in aircraft maintenance, repairs and operations (MRO) and leasing. Colbert told the minister that he was expanding his operations in India and was committed to Aatmanirbhar Bharat’s vision. He added that due to the reforms undertaken by the government, India has the potential to become a global MRO hub.

Sitharaman has also interacted via VC with distinguished American universities to explore the possibility of establishing foreign universities or institutions in GIFT City, IFSC. “Recognizing the inherent potential of IFSC, the budget announcement paved the way for world-class overseas universities to offer courses in financial management, FinTech, science, technology, engineering and mathematics at GIFT City, IFSC “said the Ministry of Finance. Sitharaman spoke about the win-win opportunities for the financial services industry as well as foreign universities operating from the IFSC, and how this can create an ideal global ecosystem for developing the skills needed in the future. US universities include 100% foreign ownership with no restrictions on profit repatriation, regulatory ease through the unified regulator IFSCA, and the ability to collaborate with Indian students, faculty, and the financial industry. In addition, no national law will apply to it. Representatives from 14 US universities took part in the virtual interaction.

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