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Trade wars to impact flow of capital, goods and services: Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said because of increased geopolitical uncertainties and high accumulated debt levels, the trade war will ultimately impact the flow of capital, goods, and services.

Updated: Oct 19, 2019, 04.13 PM IST
WASHINGTON D.C.: Increased trade integration, geopolitical uncertainties, and high accumulated debt levels necessitate strong global coordination, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

"We need not wait for the slowdown to become a crisis," she said adding that trade wars and protectionism have generated uncertainties that will ultimately impact the flow of capital, goods, and services.

Addressing the annual meetings at the plenary session of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group held here on Friday (local time), Sitharaman called for concerted action to mitigate the disruption on account of synchronous slowdown and invoked the spirit of multilateralism for global growth.

She also attended the working lunch session of the Development Committee, the ministerial-level committee of the IMF and the World Bank, in which members discussed the global economic outlook.

The 40th meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) are being held at this year's annual meetings. During the day, three sessions of the IMFC took place.

The IMFC introductory session was focused on global developments and prospects and the discussions centred on the World Economic Outlook released on October 15.

The early warning exercise discussed upcoming risks to a global economy and stability. A special session on IMF resources and governance was also held early in the day in the context of the 15th round of the quota discussions concluding this year. Secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs Atanu Chakraborty led the Indian delegation.

Sitharaman also led the Indian delegation at G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in which the deliberations centred on international taxation and stablecoins.

The ministers and governors also took updates from G20 deputies on quality infrastructure investment, debt sustainability, financing for universal healthcare and building effective country platforms, and from the Africa Advisory Group on the Compact with Africa (CwA) initiative.

On the discussions at the session regarding the work underway on developing a consensus solution on tax challenges arising from digitalisation, Sitharaman said a unified approach to the nexus and profit allocation challenges is a promising one that merits serious attention.

A solution that is simple to implement, simple to administer and simple to comply with is needed.

On the sidelines, she held several bilateral meetings, including with First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov, Finance Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Baktygul Jeenbaeva, Finance Minister of Switzerland Ulei Maurer, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister of Maldives Ibrahim Ameer.

Chakraborty also held one-on-one meeting with Director General of the French Treasury Renaud Basso and Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank Anshula Kant. He also addressed investors in a session organised by JP Morgan.

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