India and international financial services

The opportunity in the crisis

In today’s DNA, Mukul Asher & Azad Singh Bali argue that it is an opportune moment for India to make a serious play in developing international financial services:

It may seem odd to stress the need for developing international financial services (IFS) during the fragile recovery from the global financial and economic crisis. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has argued with considerable justification that its conservative approach to liberalisation of the financial sector has significantly contributed to mitigating the macroeconomic impact of the current global crisis.

Nevertheless, diminished prospects of the current providers of IFS due to the crisis and subsequent rethinking of the appropriate role of finance; India’s own growth prospects; and its vision of emerging as a major economic power strongly suggest that this is an opportune time to develop IFS in India.

…The development of IFS in India primarily for domestic needs should be the first priority. This phase may last perhaps a decade. As India’s financial and capital markets acquire greater depth and size, in the subsequent phases, India could consider serving the needs of international clients and become a global financial centre. It is therefore clear that the policymakers and the stakeholders need to sustain their efforts and focus over a long term, and plan sequencing of this process carefully.[DNA]

One thought on “India and international financial services”

  1. Development of an IFS requires huge, targeted infrastructure investment for things like quality residential & commercial construction, transportation links & traffic management, uninterrupted power & communication links, world-class ancillary services…in short everything that any livable city needs (and which none have in India, even on the drawing board). But even more important would be legal & bureaucratic/political overhaul…nobody will do business in a city if suddenly one fine day a partisan political demagogue insists on every 5th job to go to a Marathi Manoos in that city/SEZ.

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