RSIS Seminar by Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, Visiting Senior Fellow, RSIS
India – the $5 Trillion Dream: Challenges and Opportunities
With a GDP of close to $3 trillion, India is the sixth largest economy in the world. But it is also a poor country – the poorest in the G-20 – and by some accounts, houses more poor people than the entire continent of Africa. When he won a second term in office as prime minister in 2019, Narendra Modi set a target of $5 trillion GDP by 2025. But with the devastating toll of the covid pandemic and the ongoing war in Europe, achieving that target looks virtually impossible.
India will of course get to $5 trillion GDP, but it has to do so soon enough while also ensuring that the benefits of growth are widely shared. The country clocked rapid growth in the past but could never sustain that momentum beyond a few years. And for all its global image of a technology super power and a burgeoning car-owning middle class, the economy has huge structural challenges which it has to overcome if it is to become the economic dynamo that it aspires to be.
Will Indian deliver on its immense promise or will it forever remain a country of tomorrow? What will it take for this country of 1.4 billion people to firmly join the league of middle-income countries? These questions will be the focus of the public seminar led by Dr Subbarao.
About the Speaker
Duvvuri Subbarao served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for five years (2008-2013). Prior to that, he was Finance Secretary to the Government of India (2007-2008) and Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (2005-2007).
Subbarao joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1972, topping the highly competitive civil services entry examination in that year. As a career civil servant, he worked in various positions in the state government of Andhra Pradesh and in the federal government of India. He was a Lead Economist in the World Bank (1999-2004).
Subbarao studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the Ohio State University and at MIT.
Subbarao was alternate governor for India on the Governing Boards of both the World Bank and the IMF. As Finance Secretary to Government of India and later as Governor of RBI, he participated in G-20 meetings and the meetings of the Bank for International Settlements.
Subbarao’s book “Who Moved My Interest Rate” chronicling his experiences in leading the Reserve Bank of India through five turbulent year is best known for the way he explained the policy dilemmas and challenges facing an emerging economy central bank in a globalised world.
After stepping down as Governor, RBI, Subbarao was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore (2014-2018), at the University of Pennsylvania (2019-2020), and most recently at the Nanyang Technological University.