US candidate for World Bank chief, Ajay Banga, to meet PM Modi

US candidate for World Bank chief, Ajay Banga, to meet PM Modi

The former Mastercard CEO and the US candidate to lead the World Bank, Ajay Banga will arrive in India on Thursday and is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi.

Ajay Banga's visit to India will bring an end to his "global listening tour" where he talked with donor countries and borrowers to gather support and discuss issues of the World Bank.

The Treasury said Banga will visit New Delhi on March 23 and 24, where his likeness has already been posted on billboards. He will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, and the minister of external affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

"These discussions will focus on India’s development priorities, the World Bank, and global economic development challenges," the Treasury said in a statement.

The union government endorsed the Indian-origin business executive's candidacy for the President of the World Bank soon after his nomination was announced in February.

Several countries have already supported Banga's candidacy, including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

The World Bank will accept nominations from other countries until March 29, but no competitors have been announced. The World Bank has been led by an American since its founding at the end of World War Two, while the International Monetary Fund has been led by a European.
U.S. President Joe Biden last month nominated Banga, 63, to replace David Malpass, who announced his resignation after months of controversy over his initial failure to say he backed the scientific consensus on climate change.

In India, Banga will also visit a vocational skills development institute funded in part by the World Bank, the Treasury said.
Over the past month, Banga has met with government officials, civil society groups, business leaders, and other stakeholders on a "global listening tour" that started in Africa before progressing to Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

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