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Indo-US partnership inherent to India’s growth story: Ambassador Shringla

Indian Ambasador to USA Harsh Vardhan Shringla also suggested that bilateral relationship between India and the United States is evolving fast both in the strategic and economic domains and this is key to India’s growth story. His comments are significant ahead of the 2+2 ministerial level dialogue on December 18.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 07, 2019, 10.05 AM IST
Indian Ambasador to USA Harsh Vardhan Shringla
NEW DELHI: Indian Ambasador to USA Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said that conditions are right for India to be a global superpower of the 21st century.

He also suggested that bilateral relationship between India and the United States is evolving fast both in the strategic and economic domains and this is key to India’s growth story. His comments are significant ahead of the 2+2 ministerial level dialogue on December 18.

"Inherent in India's growth story is a natural partnership with the United States. This partnership is evolving fast both in strategic and economic domains," Shringla told students and faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Friday.

"Our defense procurement relationship has gone up from almost nil 15 years ago to nearly 20 billion today. India is now a major defense partner of the United States. We have signed a number of foundation agreements and our militaries exercise regularly with each other," he said.

India-US bilateral trade, he said, has been growing at 10 per cent year-on-year basis to reach $ 142 billion in 2018 and has also become more balanced, Shringla said.

The investment relationship is also bi-directional with 2,000 US companies investing around $ 40 billion in India covering almost every sector of the modern economy. At the same time, 200 Indian companies have invested $ 18 billion dollars in the US creating more than 1,00,000 jobs directly, he said.

"Our strategic energy partnership has also grown with India importing nearly eight billion dollars of oil and gas this year," he said.

"We have long term cooperation in health technology with US agencies such as National Institute of Health and a range of collaborative research projects focussed on understanding chronic and infectious diseases at basic molecular/clinical level and development of new therapeutics and diagnostics to address healthcare-related issues, including development of new vaccines and treatment of multi drug-resistant tuberculosis," Shringla said.

"The Indian economic juggernaut is on the roll and conditions are right for it to be a global super-power of the 21st century,” Shringla, said in his address to the students and faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School.

In his keynote address "Next Phase of India's Growth and Development,", he said that India took nearly 60 years after independence to reach the 1 trillion mark economy. But it has taken just 12 years since then to take it to 2.0 trillion and only five years, from 2014-2019, to take it from 2.0 trillion to 3.0 trillion.

The Prime Minister of India has set a goal of achieving five trillion mark by 2025, and we are all working diligently to achieve that goal," he said.

"India's growth story is based on its fundamentals. While accelerating growth, we have also achieved macro-stability, inclusive and sustainable growth. We have achieved high growth, maintaining social cohesion, democracy, and rule of law," Shringla said.

While inclusion can be the biggest failing of rapid growth across the world, he said that India has managed it remarkably well! Income Inequality has been a problem in many advanced economies, but India has managed to pull millions out of poverty ever since growth accelerated following the liberalization of the 1990s, he added.

Social Inequality in India, he said, has been addressed through affirmative action and improved opportunities for the disadvantaged groups who were systematically left behind by the travails of history.

Spatial Inequality, he noted, has been dealt with by redistribution of financial resources through the Finance Commission set up once every five years and through the mechanism of centrally sponsored schemes and investment incentives for the backward areas.

Pointing out that India's Constitutional democracy is exemplary, he said the country has survived and prospered while several other nation-States post the world war have fallen.

"Our Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all our citizens with an independent judiciary to enforce them. Together with growth and development India's sociopolitical and institutional framework has promoted social cohesion and helped build a fair and equitable State that is run for, by and of the people!" he mentioned.

Shringla said India would soon have the largest market base and with rising per capita incomes, it will go on to be the largest market in the world.

By 2030, one in two households is expected to be middle class. By then, India would also be an upper-middle-income country as per the World Bank classification.

"This essentially means, by the middle of the 21st century, India would be the largest market on earth, a country which no power would be able to ignore, and whose economy would be closely linked to product markets around the world through global value chains and to the factor markets through investment capital and skilled workforce," he said.

Foreign Direct Investment in India is flowing in record numbers. India achieved record FDI flows of $ 286 illion between 2014-15 to 2018-19, making it one of the most attractive FDI destinations across the world, he said. Massive efforts are being made to improve the infrastructure, he added.

India's ranking in the world bank's ease of doing business report has improved from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019, a jump of 79 places in a short span of five years, he said.

India is the fastest-growing digital economy and has the third-largest Start-up ecosystem in the world. This, combined with a large pool of skilled professionals, will make India the technology incubator of the future world, he said.

"India is not just growing, but growing responsibly," Shringla said. India, he said, is committed to cleaning up the environment and making its growth sustainable for both its citizens and the world.

"India is already the fifth largest economy in nominal terms and the third largest in purchasing power parity terms. As India inches towards the 5.0 trillion target, it will become the third-largest economy in every possible way," Shringla said.

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