Michael Debabrata Patra: The relevance of SEACEN in a turbulent world

Closing remarks by Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, at the 59th South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Governors' Conference, Mumbai, 20 February 2024.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
06 March 2024

Honourable Governors, Deputy Governors, Managing Directors, delegations from SEACEN central banks, distinguished experts, and panellists, Dr. Mangal Goswami and the SEACEN team, and my colleagues from the Reserve Bank of India.

I join previous speakers in expressing my gratitude to you all for your participation in the rousing discussions that took place today. As this conference draws to a close, I note with great satisfaction the richness and depth of the insights provided in keynote and special addresses, and in the panel discussions about the global economic outlook; the lessons learnt from the fight against the recent worldwide surge in inflation; the financial stability implications of monetary policy actions; and financial inclusion and the role of digital public infrastructure. We live in challenging times, with divergent pathways characterising our jurisdictions, but our common commitment to macroeconomic and financial stability will shine light on the way ahead.

There is broad consensus that the centre of gravity of the global economic order is moving eastwards to Asia. The January 2024 update of the IMF's World Economic Outlook upgrades the outlook for Asia's growth relative to its October 2023 projections, rendering it the fastest growing region of the world. This growth performance is expected to be underpinned by the resilience of domestic drivers. Overall, Asia will likely contribute about two-thirds of global growth in 2024, a carryover of its blockbuster performance in 2023. Another noteworthy development is that disinflation is expected to remain on track in Asia and convergence with central bank targets is being sighted. Thus, the outlook for Asia in a stormy and unsettled global environment is one of sustained growth with stability.

Within Asia, the group of nations served by SEACEN will likely be its main engine of progress. This presents exciting opportunities as well as trials and tribulations. According to a recent Suara SEACEN blog, the challenges that our central banking community has flagged are changing workforce demographics, the rise of financial products and services beyond the conventional definition of banking, digitalisation, climate change, talent shortages and persistent supply shocks, apart from the pandemic and the recent inflation experience. It is in this context that SEACEN assumes importance as a supra-national public good committed to building capacity and fostering networking and collaboration in our region. Emboldened by its contributions, I would like to focus on the economic transformation of the economies that have constituted the SEACEN as the theme of my address.