Singapore, Apr.4 : India's economic engagement with the world is expected to touch 550 billion dollars in 2007-08, announced the country's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath on Friday while addressing the opening session of the Incredible India@60 campaign here.
Stating that India is keen to learn and pick up the best practices from Singapore, Nath said that the city-state's institutions, regulatory frameworks and strong services were a role model for India.
Complimenting Singapore for embracing global connectivity as an economic model, Nath added that India needs to also leverage the forces of globalization in order that its growth can extend to all sections of society.
India has made great progress in investing overseas, investing more and creating more jobs in the US than the US is creating in India, he continued, he said.
Stressing that India is using its knowledge in its manufacturing processes rather than adopting mass manufacturing, Nath said that the "frenzy of economic slowdown" is bound to impact the global economy, but today's engines of growth are China and South East Asia. Singapore is now salvaging US banks, he pointed out.
The Minister added that India faces enormous challenges in inclusive growth and commended CII for setting up offices in backward regions, including his constituency.
Representing the Singapore Government at the inaugural business session of the Incredible India@60 campaign, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports said that India has much to be proud of, and Singapore has always been cognizant of the opportunities of an awakening India.
The Tech Park by Singapore in Bangalore is now celebrating its 10th anniversary, he pointed out, adding that the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) of 2005 between the two countries had reinvigorated Singapore's relations with India. Singapore is now the fourth largest investor in India and India is Singapore's 11th largest trading partner. Singapore is also a base for Indian companies and is a portal for their operations in South East Asia.
Nath added that India is a continental size country and faces monumental challenges including the transformation of agriculture, delivery of services, infrastructure and education. But India will grow, he stressed. "Singapore hopes to play a part in the rise of India," concluded Dr. Balakrishnan.
High Commissioner of India to Singapore Dr. S. Jaishankar said that it was appropriate to begin the Incredible India@60 campaign with a business conference as business has powered growth in India and enjoys a special bond with Singapore. The big picture in India's growth story is the decline in poverty, high growth in employment and good manufacturing capabilities, among others, he added.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, President, CII introduced the session, saying that the launch of the Incredible India @ 60 campaign in Singapore after the successful event in New York reflects the special warm relations of India with the country.
"The combination of Singapore's innovation and knowledge with India's workforce and large market can together be a powerhouse for the global economy," he said.
The relationship with Singapore has been built brick by brick, said Tarun Das, Chief Mentor, CII. He added that the new facet of India - Singapore relations is e engagement of the Young leaders for both countries under the aegis of the CII Young India initiative. By involving the young leaders of the two nations, who will lead the countries in future, the attempt is to tackle the common challenges with combined power of ideas, initiatives and resources.