India to be a major player in Asian Century: Kamal Nath

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New Delhi, Oct 30 (UNI) Stating that the 21st century will belong to Asia with the centre of global industrial production and services shifting from North America and Europe to this region, India today said it has become a major growth engine in international trade.

Inviting world leaders in industry and businesses to become a part of India's growth story at the Fortune Global Forum here, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said over the last decade, international trade has become an engine of growth in India.

India's total trade as a share of GDP has doubled over the past seven years to almost 50 per cent in 2006, he added.

He said Asia is resource rich and people rich. Today, the Asian region accounts for 60 per cent of the world's population, two-thirds of the world's hydrocarbon reserves and around 40 per cent of the world's GDP.

Speaking on ''India in the global economy: New partners, New alliances'', Mr Kamal Nath said when in the next half-century the population in the West ages, a younger and better-educated work force in Asia will fill the void. ''And since we, in this country, will have the world's youngest workforce by the end of the decade, we can take the lead here.'' He said the rapid growth in India, '' along with other Asian nations, is redefining trade and business patterns, altering the regional geopolitical order and forcing business and western governments to adopt new strategies. Asia accounted for 60 per cent of global output at the dawn of the industrial age in 1820. Its share of global output fell to 20 per cent by 1940. But at present rates of growth, Asia will account for 60 per cent of the world's output by 2025'', the same level as in 1820, and thus the wheel would indeed come full circle.

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