IMF Current Affairs
India-born economist Gita Gopinath was appointed Chief Economist of International Monetary Fund (IMF). She will take over as IMF chief economist after Maurice Obstfeld retires in December 2018. It makes her second Indian after former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to hold the position.
Gita Gopinath was born and brought up in India. She is US citizen and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). She had received her Ph.D in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning BA from Delhi University and MA degrees from both Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.
She joined the University of Chicago in 2001 as Assistant Professor before moving to Harvard in 2005. She became tenured Professor there in 2010. She is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University. Her research focuses on International Finance and Macroeconomics.
She is co-director of International Finance and Macroeconomics program at National Bureau of Economic Research, visiting scholar at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, member of economic advisory panel of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, co-editor of American Economic Review, co-editor of current Handbook of International Economics. She was managing editor of Review of Economic Studies.
She is currently Economic Adviser to Chief Minister of Kerala and also had served on advisory panel for G-20 issues for India’s Ministry of Finance. In 2014, she had made into IMF’s list of 25 economists under 45. She was also chosen as Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2011.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization have collectively launched report “Reinvigorating Trade and Inclusive Growth”. In this report all three international organisations have sought liberalisation of global service sector, asserting that barriers to these services trade currently is roughly as high as those to trade in goods about a half century ago.
Key Highlights of Report
Services comprise some two-thirds of global GDP and employment. The limited opening of service sectors to foreign competition impedes trade and productivity growth throughout sector and broader economy. Countries should open up to international competition in services provided in other ways, including through foreign direct investment (FDI) and operation of foreign affiliates and temporary movement of workers across borders for the purpose of supplying services.
The full services trade liberalisation can raise manufacturing productivity by average of 22% across sample of 57 countries with larger benefits for countries with stronger institutional environments. Moreover, service sector has enormous contributor to growth and to trade including manufacturing trade.
Improved access to services from trade reform promotes economy-wide productivity and income growth, and given sector’s size, role of services productivity in overall economic performance is evident. There is interplay between services reform and manufacturing performance
Services comprise significant shares of value added of all sectors in economy and this is reflected in trade figures also. Only quarter of global trade is traded as services, on value-added basis half of the value of global trade originates in service sectors.
The trade in services sector has potential of contributing particularly strongly to productivity growth and economic growth overall. Prolonged slowdown in pace of trade reform is leading to widespread trade distortions and putting at risk strength and durability of global economic recovery, despite recent rebound in trade.
Digital economy revolution is opening new opportunities for cross-border trade and investment and this is changing nature of trade, elevating roles of policies relating to electronic commerce, investment and services trade.