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Oil price not to restrain China, India growth
Updated: 2005-09-01 15:42

NEW DELHI -- Surging oil prices are unlikely to restrain the strong economic growth in India and China, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said.

"Oil prices have certainly affected the global economy, but China and India appear to grow robustly," Dow Jones Newswires quoted Kuroda as saying Wednesday evening.

The Manila-based bank, which provides loans and economic aid to the region, has predicted developing nations in Asia will grow a collective 6.5 percent this year. Kuroda said it's unlikely that that figure will be revised down in the face of rising oil prices, which this week surged above $70 a barrel.

"We expect 7 percent growth by India in the coming few years," he said after meeting with India's President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, earlier Wednesday.

India's economy has grown about 6 percent a year for the last decade, and China's economy is growing at a rate above 9 percent.

Kuroda said high crude oil prices would eventually drop, but declined to predict a timeframe.

Turning to the bank's loans to India, he said the multilateral agency hopes to lend a total of up to $7 billion during the next three years.

"Our priorities will be for development of irrigation projects, infrastructure projects, rural and urban development projects," Kuroda said.

He said the private-public partnership route of financing infrastructure projects would be an important method for ADB's involvement in India.

The ADB and the Indian government would establish a joint work force to improve implementation and disbursement of the project assistance, The Hindu Business Line reported.

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