Global meltdown recovery immediate challenge before India, US: PM

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): Expressing confidence and optimism about the future of the India-US partnership, visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh told a distinguished gathering at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) here, that there is a growing convergence of "our national interests, both within the bilateral framework and on regional and global issues, but the immediate challenge before us is to bring the world to full recovery from the global economic and financial crisis."

Acknowledging the changes taking place in global economic and political structures and the growing interdependence among nations, Dr. Singh said this should be seen as an "opportunity to look beyond bilateral engagement to establish a strategic partnership of global dimensions."

"If we are to effectively tackle the multiple challenges that confront the world, India and the United States, as two leading democracies, must work together," he emphasized.

India, he said on Monday, was playing its own part in the process of global recovery.

He said that despite the slowdown, the Indian economy grew by 6.7 percent last year and was expected to grow by 6.5 percent in 2009-10.

"India and the United States have strong compulsions to work towards an open and liberal regime for transfers of goods, services, investments and technology. This will stimulate recovery in the global economy, create jobs and spur growth in our own economies," the Indian Prime Minister said..

Stating that nowhere are the changes more visible than in Asia and calling for the creation of an open and inclusive regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific, Dr. Singh said the India-US partnership can contribute to an orderly transition to the new order and be an important factor for global peace and stability.

He said both India and the United States can draw strength from their common values of respect for cultural diversity, democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law.

"Our two nations have been shaped by the thoughts and ideals of two apostles of peace of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. We should advance these ideals as fundamental rights of all people," he said.

He concluded by saying that India's economic transition is gathering pace and that it would be faster in the years ahead.

"The unshackling of our markets; the latent demand, particularly of the rural economy; and the fact that our domestic savings rate is 35 percent of our GDP all suggest that we can achieve a sustained growth of nine percent per annum over the next couple of decades," he said.

This, he said, would create the resources to make development process more inclusive and sustainable.

The India-US partnership can promote global cooperation in dealing with issues that the world has to face together, whether it is hunger, global security and terrorism, nuclear disarmament, climate change or the spread of pandemics. By Smita Prakash(ANI)

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