Inflation reduction top priority for South Asia

Inflation reduction top priority for South Asia

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©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), speaks at the Global Fintech Fest in Mumbai, India September 20, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

By Nikunj Ohri

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Taming inflation is a top priority for South Asian countries as risks to growth and investment prospects could rise if price pressures persist at high levels, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor said. Shakktanta Das, on Friday.

Speaking at an event organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Das said political challenges for the region have intensified due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Earlier, IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said India is in a relatively “bright spot” in the global economy but needs to leverage its existing strength in services exports and expand into job-rich manufacturing exports.

Intra-regional trade in South Asia is only one-fifth of its potential, Das said, adding that boosting it could improve post-pandemic growth and job opportunities for nations.

India has also sought to encourage rupee-based trade settlement, and Das said the RBI is in talks with some countries in the region to facilitate this.

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