As the first phase of polling for election 2019 goes underway on 11 April, Narendra Modi’s close aide and BJP’s key troubleshooter Arun Jaitley will be missing some action on the ground. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is headed to the US to attend IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings during 9-14 April in Washington DC, as he seeks to assess global economic outlook, study the impact of US-China trade wars on India’s exports, scouts for more foreign investment into the country, looks for growth opportunities for India, and raises key issues concerning Indian economy on global fora.
Arun Jaitley, who is going for the meetings along with Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das and Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, will be away from India for as much as up to a week, a Finance Ministry official told Financial Express Online requesting anonymity. He will leave Delhi for Washington DC on 8 April, and will return to India on 15 April, the official said. Last year, Arun Jaitley could not attend the spring meeting due to health issues, as he had to undergo kidney transplant around mid-May.
The IMF-World Bank Group spring meetings are organised every year to discuss key issues surrounding the global economy. The IMF-World Bank meet is significant in the backdrop of ongoing trade talks between the two economic giants US and China and Brexit which can have an impact on India’s exports too, a government official told Financial Express Online.
“These meetings provide a forum to the member countries to sit together and discuss major issues like economic outlook, trade wars, environmental issues, poverty eradication, etc and how these can be resolved to avoid spillover effects on other economies,” the government official said.
Recently, at the Capital Markets Summit in Washington, IMF’s managing director Christine Lagarde had noted that the global economy is in a delicate moment and 70 per cent of the global economy is slowing down.
“The IMF will present the world economic outlook and global financial stability report. Problems which the global economy is facing and the issues which can impact developed and developing economies both,” the source cited above told who didn’t wish to be quoted.
The issues flagged at IMF-World Bank meet may also form the bedrock for discussions in other forums, and will be taken up further in the G20 and BRICS countries summit which are organised on the sidelines of IMF-World Bank meet every year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is a Governor representing India in IMF and World Bank both. He will represent as finance minister in G20 and BRICS both.
Arun Jaitley will also have discussions with investors in the US to boost foreign direct investment in India, according to an official. Besides, he will also deliver a speech at Columbia University where the session will be moderated by Arvind Panagariya, former Niti Aayog Chairman and an Economics professor at Columbia University in New York. The session is likely to be attended by academicians, US businessmen, and Indian diaspora in the US among others.