More reports on: Economy - general, World Trade Organisation

World Bank offers $18 bn loan to India; seeks compromise on WTO trade deal

24 July 2014

The World Bank on Wednesday offered India up to $18 billion in loans over the next three years even as the bank's president Jim Yong Kim, who called on Narendra Modi on Wednesday, lavishly praised the "ambitious vision" of the prime minister.

Kim who is here to also address concerns over India's stance at the World Trade Organisation over the trade protocol versus the country's food security programme, strongly urged Modi not to block a landmark world trade deal to safeguard his government's anti-poverty drive.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement, which advanced countries say would inject an estimated $1 trillion into the global economy, also promises to make it easier for goods to cross borders.

Speaking at the end of a three-day visit to India, the World Bank president told reporters he was hugely impressed with Modi's "comprehensive and extremely ambitious vision for the country".

India is already the World Bank`s largest cumulative borrower.

"His (Modi's) intention is to grow this economy quickly, grow the number of jobs quickly and demonstrate to the Indian people you can do things at scale with great speed," Kim said.

"I am more optimistic leaving (about India's prospects) than when I arrived," Kim said after talks with Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Later, the prime minister also described the meeting as ''very fruitful.''

''We discussed several ways of working together in the times to come,'' he said.

On Twitter, the prime minister also said, ''We talked about the importance of scale and the need to work on a scale that inspires people and positively transforms their lives. We live in a world where speed matters. Quick execution is essential. Speeding up World Bank projects will surely increase the impact.

''Rather than dollars, we are more interested in knowledge and expertise of World Bank. Dr Kim agreed and said World Bank can be our information bank. We want ideas from the World Bank not only on mass production but also on production by masses, which will benefit our workforce.

''Today the world focuses on trade in goods but in future the core issue will be how to get skilled people. We need to work in this direction.

''I also suggested to Dr Jim Yong Kim that the cleaning of the Ganga would be a very inspiring project for the World Bank.''

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