Global economic outlook strongly dependent on path chartered by nations like India: PM Modi

Riyadh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh, on Oct 29, 2019. (Photo: IANS/MEA)

Riyadh, Oct 29 (PTI) Underlining that the economic uncertainty is an offshoot of “unbalanced” multilateral trade systems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that the global economic outlook is strongly dependent on the path chartered by large developing countries like India and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its outlook for the world economy, predicting that the growth this year will be the weakest since the 2008 financial crisis primarily because of widening global conflicts, including the US-China trade war.

The forecast predicts global growth of 3 per cent this year, down 0.2 percentage point from its previous forecast in July and sharply below the 3.6 per cent growth of 2018.

“The global economic outlook is strongly dependent on the path chartered by the large developing countries such as India. We need collective efforts, for the growth of all, with everyone’s trust,” Prime Minister Modi said in an interview published in the Arab News on Tuesday.

The economic uncertainty, Modi noted, is an “offshoot of unbalanced multilateral trade systems”.

“Within the G20, India and Saudi Arabia have been working together to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development,” he said.

Replying to a question on what Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia and India, can do to mitigate the effects of the global economic downturn, Modi said both the nations have undertaken various business reforms.

“India has undertaken many reforms to create a business-friendly environment, and to ensure that we remain a major driver of global growth and stability…Similarly, I am happy to note that Saudi Arabia too has embarked upon a reform programme as part of their Vision 2030,” the prime minister said.

Modi said his government’s reforms for ease of doing business and introducing investor-friendly initiatives have contributed to improving India’s position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019.

He also underlined that major flagship initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Swatchh Bharat, Smart Cities and Startup India are offering a lot of opportunities to foreign investors.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, off late, has been looking to diversify its economy. It is trying to move away from oil and looking for new investment and economic opportunities in technology, infrastructure and tourism.

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