The “inward-looking” policies of some advanced countries pose danger of frittering away the gains of globalisation and raise possibility of disrupting the global economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said….A special report by Prashant Sood for Asian Lite News
Addressing the 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) here in Gandhinagar, he also said that African economies were registering faster growth and 21st century would not be Asia’s alone but would belong to both Asia and Africa.
Noting the AfDB meeting was taking place in rather uncertain and challenging times, he said: “On the one hand after a prolonged period of slow growth, the world economy is finally on mend. Global growth is projected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. Economic activities are finally picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing and trade.”
“On the other hand, there is an increasing possibility of disruption in the global economy due to inward looking policies of some advanced countries. This has a danger of frittering away much of the gains from globalistion,” he said, adding that he had returned with mixed feelings after attending spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Noting India has remained a bright spot among the major economies throughout out the challenging times, Jaitley said that his government has successfully implemented a slew of reform measures including one of the largest currency reform initiatives ever implemented which will move the economy to a less cash trajectory, increase tax compliance and reduce the threat of counterfeit currency.
He also referred to passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill, enactment of comprehensive insolvency and bankruptcy code 2016 and liberalisation of FDI norms.
With African economies growing by 2.2 per cent in 2016 and were expected to grow by 3.4 per cent during the current year, he said that “Africa is approaching an exciting times and India and Africa should navigate this journey together and shape their common future.
“I stand here with conviction that the 21st century would not be Asia’s alone but would belong equally to both Asia and Africa.”
Jaitley stressed that India’s development partnership was based on principles of South-South cooperation and voluntary partnership.
“We leave it to our partners to decide their priorities. These are the very cornerstones of our policies and we believe this is the most enduring model of taking the relationship forward.”
Referring to “High 5s” priority areas of AfDB that cover energy, healthcare and pharma, agriculture, industrialisation and e-Governance, Jaitley said these were similar to the agenda of the Indian government.
He said there was huge possibility of agriculture sector in Africa benefiting from the Indian experience.