Recycle global savings for infra devlp, food security: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee
Hanoi, May 5: India today (May 5) pressed for increased role of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in ploughing global savings into emerging and developing economies for ensuring food security and creation of infrastructure.

Addressing business session of Governors' at Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting here, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India has been emphasising that global savings must feed the infrastructure requirements of developing countries.

He said the MDBs will have to play a bigger role in this regard.

"In our view, there has to be a substantial increase in the role of MDBs in recycling of savings to developing countries and emerging economies, particularly for infrastructure, food security and human resource development," he said.

The Asian Development Outlook for 2011, Mukherjee said, has rightly pointed out that deepening of ties among such economies is vital for growth in Asia.

"We concur with the view that improved South-South relations could be crucial driver for economic growth and call upon ADB to explore more avenues for supporting developing Asia''s integration with economies of South," he said.

The Indian finance minister said ADB needs to build on and strengthen regional cooperation among member countries for their mutual benefit.

"As it goes about doing so, the focus has to be on hard infrastructure for connectivity, soft infrastructure for information and financial flows and institutional arrangements for cooperation and ownership," he said.

Referring to the immediate challenge of inflation in several Asian countries, Mukherjee also said as the price has a disproportionately large impact on the poor, ADB needs to promote productivity in agriculture and natural resources for food security.

He further said that, as recommended by the report, there is a need to remove barriers on trade amongst developing countries.

On the role played by India in this regard, Mukherjee said the country has a comprehensive scheme to allow duty free imports of several products from least developed countries.

As one of the founder members of ADB, India has partnered the Bank in the "common" task of spurring economic development since 1966.

"In an era of deepening integration of economies, we should cooperate and work together so that uncoordinated responses do not wreak common havoc and we are firmly placed to tackle any unforeseen eventuality," Mukherjee said.


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