Ajay Banga, US pick to head World Bank, visits India; to meet PM Modi

Ajay Banga, US pick to head World Bank, visits India; to meet PM Modi

The US nominee for World Bank President Ajay Banga is on a two-day visit to India where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Niramala Sitharaman, among others.

Banga’s New Delhi visit (March 23 and March 24) is the final stop on his three-week global tour that began in Africa before progressing to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

“While in India, Banga will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman and the minister of external affairs S Jaishankar. These discussions will focus on India’s development priorities, the World Bank, and global economic development challenges,” US Treasury Department said in a statement.

Also read: Who is Ajay Banga, the Indian American nominated to head World Bank?

Additionally, it said, Banga will visit the Learnet Institute of Skills, which is a network of vocational institutes established in collaboration with the National Skills Development Corporation, funded in part by the World Bank.

Banga will learn about the Institute’s programme and meet with programme participants, staff, alumni, and private sector partners to discuss how it is improving the lives and economic opportunities of participants particularly young people, it said.

India’s government endorsed Banga’s candidacy soon after his nomination was announced, it said, adding, since then, a diverse coalition of governments have expressed their support for Banga, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Also read: US nominates Pune-born Ajay Banga to lead World Bank

During his global listening tour, Banga has met with senior government officials, stakeholders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and civil society, it said.

Along the way, he has built continuous momentum for his candidacy, gaining the support of advocates, academics, development experts, executives, Nobel laureates, and former government officials, it said.

If elected to serve, Banga will draw from his experience living and working in emerging markets and his expertise in forging public-private partnerships to mobilise investments and action to confront long-standing challenges, it added.

That includes his efforts at Mastercard to successfully bring 500 million previously unbanked people into the digital economy, as well as its support for 50 million small businesses.

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