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We count a lot on India’s G-20 leadership amidst global economic slowdown: IMF MD Georgieva

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Washington: The international community counts a lot on India’s leadership of the G-20 at a time when the world is faced with the continued economic slowdown and social distress, the chief of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva has said.

“India, which is the president of G-20 countries, remains among the countries that perform better than the global average and by a good percentage,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters during a media roundtable on Thursday.

India formally assumed the G20 (Group of 20) Presidency on December 1. The next G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10 in New Delhi.

“We count a lot on India’s leadership of the G-20. Because it is such a critical time for the world to protect its own well-being by protecting the integrated global economy. I hope that India will do that huge global service keeping us together,” she said.

Georgieva lauded India for embracing digitisation.

“What we see working extremely well for India is how the country has taken digitisation that was accelerated by COVID-19 to be a strong comparative advantage, both for public policy and for private sector growth,” the IMF Managing Director said in response to a question.

For public policy, because the combination of digital ID and digital public infrastructure allows India to move policy support on a digital platform and to target extremely well those who are recipients of the support as well as to become a bright example of vaccinations done in a prioritised and highly effective manner, she said.

“On the private sector side, because that has become a fertile ground for very rapid expansion of branded financing and enterprises. And that India intends to take to the G-20 as an area to build comparative strength,” she said.

According to Georgieva, one of the priorities in the G-20 is how to make digitisation built on a public platform, public infrastructure that allows everybody to plug in and significantly reduces costs of digitisation; how that can be a source of growth and employment. So that is definitely one area, she said.

India, she noted, has done some painful reforms which are now paying off. The country, she said, faces difficulties on the climate front, with a very dramatic impact on agriculture because of the very severe vulnerability of climate shocks, especially droughts and high temperatures.

“India is of course impacted by developments in Asia. One of the countries — Sri Lanka is a neighbour, Pakistan is a neighbour — these are countries that are volatile. And, of course, the fact that China has slowed down so dramatically, has had an impact for the whole of Asia.

“If I’m in India today, I would worry more about what is happening in the rest of the world and how this is going to impact me, than what are the domestic factors,” Georgieva said.

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