US pat on back for India over economic reforms booster shots

Dec 04 2012, 13:40 IST
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SummaryUS official quotes UPA govt figures to paint a long-term rosy picture for Indian economy.

With a new round of reforms like allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, the Indian government has raised the prospect of a continued strong economic growth, a US official has said, lauding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the country's remarkable development in recent years.

"By championing a new round of reforms in September, the current Indian Government has raised the prospect that strong economic growth will continue.

"For example, in allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, India's Ministry of Commerce estimates 10 million new jobs will be created," Geoffrey Pyatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, said.

Addressing the 6th IISS-NESA South Asia Security Conference in Muscat, Oman, over the weekend, Pyatt praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for lndia's remarkable development in recent years.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has championed India's global engagement, from his time as Finance Minister to his current stint as leader of the world's largest democracy," he said, according to the copy of his speech released by the State Department.

By dispelling the myth that India must choose between inclusive growth policies and being a robust global economic driver, he put his country on a path to indigenous technological advancement and historic private sector-led growth, with 174 million Indians expected to enter the work force by 2030, Pyatt said.

"By aiming to invest a trillion dollars ... in sustainable infrastructure over the next five years, the Prime Minister will ensure that the growth story that bears his imprimatur will last well beyond his tenure," the US official said.

India's economic take-off has enabled greater influence and responsibility in the international system, he said.

"As India has shifted its engagement outward, this has opened new possibilities for commerce and connectivity with its neighbours," Pyatt said.

India, he said, can become the connecting point between South East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

"Academics and commentators readily acknowledge India as a dynamic link that 'fuses' the Greater Middle East and East Asia," he said.

The New Silk Road vision and the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor are intended to reinvigorate regional partnerships to promote economic integration, Pyatt said.

"The idea is a simple one: by maximising the use of transportation and energy infrastructure and actively promoting cross-border collaboration and trade, Central, South and Southeast Asia can once again become a bustling hub for global commerce," he added.

Pyatt said the economic potential of a more open and integrated South Asia is virtually unlimited.

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