India and IMF to host meet on Asia’s economic challenges

Washington, Feb 2 (IANS) Asia’s strong economic performance, its increased resilience to shocks and the region’s ongoing economic policy challenges will be the focus of a high-level conference in New Delhi March 11-13.

Co-hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Indian government, “Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future” will bring together officials, corporate executives, academics, and civil society representatives from more than 30 countries spanning Asia and the Pacific.

“Advancing Asia provides a forum for Asia-Pacific leaders to discuss a region renowned for its economic successes over the past decades,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

“As Asia’s advanced, emerging market and developing economies move to the next stage of success, they face the key challenge of how to maintain and enhance the region’s high growth record while boosting jobs, reducing inequality, accelerating infrastructure and human capital development and implementing other growth-enhancing reforms.

“I am very pleased to cooperate closely with the Government of India on this conference that will explore how the region can meet these policy challenges through investments in the future,” Lagarde said.

Key topics to be discussed at the conference will include the most effective drivers of growth; income inequality, demographic change, and gender; infrastructure investment; climate change; managing capital flows; and financial inclusion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lagarde will be among the conference’s keynote speakers.

Other official sector participants will include Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao, Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, and Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Advancing Asia follows the Asia 21: Leading the Way Forward conference, a conference held in Daejeon, South Korea in 2010, where leaders gathered to discuss the region’s role in a global economy recovering from the Global Financial Crisis.

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