Washington: India’s role in the development of the Indo-Pacific region will continue to expand because of its robust growth, the IMF has said but underlined that there is room to increase its export orientation and to reduce further barriers.

While answering a question on the role India can play in the development and growth of the Indo-Pacific region, Ken Kang, deputy director of Asia and Pacific Department in the International Monetary Fund, said there is scope to do more on trade reform.

“India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers. The statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15%, and higher than those in the rest of the region. So there is room to do more on trade reform," he said.

“I think given our robust growth forecast where we see India’s growth rising from 7.4% in ‘17-’18 to 7.8% in 2019, we do expect India’s role in the region to continue to expand," Ken said during a news conference.

The IMF in the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has projected India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019. China is expected to grow respectively at 6.6 and 6.4% in the two years.