January 30, 2023

Bobbys Brane

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Lowering inflation top priority for South Asia

1 min read

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

By Nikunj Ohri

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

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

Earlier, IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said India is in a relative “bright spot” in the world economy, but needed to leverage its existing strength in services exports and extend it to job-rich manufacturing exports.

Intra-regional trade in South Asia is only at one-fifth of its potential, Das said, adding that boosting it can enhance growth and employment opportunities for the nations in the aftermath of the pandemic.

India has also been trying to promote rupee-based settlement of trade and Das said RBI has been in talks with some countries in the region to facilitate it.