India lends support to Ajay Banga’s nomination for World Bank President post


World Bank Presidential Candidate Ajay Banga. File

World Bank Presidential Candidate Ajay Banga. File
| Photo Credit: AP

India on March 2 extended support to the candidature of Ajay Banga as World Bank President, saying his nomination comes at a time when the multilateral lending agency is considering next-generation reforms.

“Congratulations to Mr. Ajay Banga on being nominated to lead @WorldBank. India supports Mr. Banga’s nomination and looks forward to his leadership of the @WorldBank,” the Finance Ministry said in a series of tweets.

Last month, the U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. is nominating Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, saying the Indian-American business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history”. If confirmed by the World Bank Board of Directors, Mr. Banga would be the first-ever Indian-American and Sikh-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions — International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“Mr. Banga brings with him unique and wide-ranging expertise in #financial and #technological sectors, rich experience in guiding large organisations that have invested and created jobs in #DevelopingEconomies, and in mobilising resources on a large scale,” said another tweet.

Mr. Banga’s rich experience will stand him in good stead at a time when the World Bank is considering next-generation reforms to deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty, expand prosperity, and deal with the pressing global challenges of our times, it said.

India and other developing nations are pressing for reforms so that they can have a greater voice in the multilateral funding agency.

Mr. Banga, 63, currently serves as the vice-chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was president and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological, and cultural transformation. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.

The White House had said Mr. Banga is a business leader with extensive experience leading successful organisations in developing countries and forging public-private partnerships to address financial inclusion and climate change.

He is Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman from 2020-2022. He was also chairman of Exor and independent director at Temasek. He became an adviser to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021.

He previously served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc. Mr. Ajay has worked closely with Vice-President Kamala Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America.

He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, a Founding Trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.


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