¿Está preparada la India para la convertibilidad total?

El arrojo político de la India al buscar la paz en su conflicto de medio siglo con Pakistán a causa de Cachemira podría verse igualado pronto por maniobras económicas igual de audaces. En efecto, la India se está moviendo lentamente hacia una reforma verdaderamente atrevida: la convertibilidad internacional total de la rupia. La forma en que lo haga no sólo afectará el desarrollo económico de la India sino que ofrecerá lecciones objetivas para China cuando estudie su convertibilidad en los años por venir.

Desde 1991, India ha ido transitando por el camino que va de la devaluación de la rupia a la convertibilidad plena, a medida que el Banco de la Reserva de la India (BRI) ha ido relajando una serie de controles de cambio. Los indios residentes pueden ahora tener cuentas en moneda extranjera e invertir en acciones de compañías extranjeras, mientras que los no residentes pueden repatriar bienes de legados o herencias. Las compañías indias registradas en el exterior ya pueden comprar propiedades en otros países, y a las empresas residentes se les permitirá anticipar pagos de deuda comercial externa hasta por 100 millones de dólares. Se eliminarán los límites en las cuentas en divisas extranjeras de los exportadores y los bancos podrán invertir en los mercados extranjeros de dinero y de deuda.

¿Está la India preparada para la convertibilidad total? El gobierno todavía está rezagado en cuanto a las reformas económicas internas. La reforma estructural y las privatizaciones han aminorado el ritmo, lo que ha erosionado la confianza de los inversionistas. Pero el no atacar los problemas estructurales podría exponer a la economía a shocks externos en el largo plazo.

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