• Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Business

Ajay Banga in India to meet Modi

Indian government already endorsed the candidacy of Banga

Ajay Banga (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

FORMER Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, who is the US nominee to lead the World Bank, returned to his homeland, India, on Thursday (23).

The visit will conclude his three-week international trip to seek support and discuss development and climate requirements with borrowing and donor countries.

According to the US Treasury, Banga’s image has already appeared on billboards in New Delhi, where he will stay for two days from March 23, meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi, as well as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“These discussions will focus on India’s development priorities, the World Bank, and global economic development challenges,” the Treasury said in a statement.

India’s government endorsed the candidacy of Banga, a longtime finance and development executive who is now a US citizen, soon after his nomination was announced in late February.

He has won the support of enough other governments to virtually assure his confirmation as the next World Bank president, including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The World Bank will accept nominations from other countries until March 29, but no competitors have been announced. The World Bank has been led by an American since its founding at the end of World War Two, while the International Monetary Fund has been led by a European.

U.S. President Joe Biden last month nominated Banga, 63, to replace David Malpass, who announced his resignation after months of controversy over his initial failure to say he backed the scientific consensus on climate change.

In India, Banga will also visit a vocational skills development institute funded in part by the World Bank, the Treasury said.

Over the past month, Banga has met with government officials, civil society groups, business leaders and other stakeholders on a “global listening tour” that started in Africa before progressing to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

(Reuters)

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