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India is good news, says WEF

A Correspondent in New Delhi | November 22, 2003 12:43 IST

The Indian economy is on the ascent. The country is set to register a GDP growth of over 7 per cent in the current fiscal year, with its agricultural, manufacturing, and services sectors booming.

Its foreign exchange reserves are set to cross the $100-billion mark soon. The stock markets are on the rise, as is consumer spending. It has managed to withstand many a global economic shock and come out of it almost unscathed. Its reforms process has finally started to pay off. And the world is now sitting up and taking notice.

"India is on the global agenda and India is good news. The Indian economy has been showing good signs of growth," said Colette Mathur, Director of the World Economic Forum.

Sunil K Munjal, vice president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, joined her.

They jointly issued the statement before the 19th India Economic Summit that begins in New Delhi from Sunday and will go on till November 25, Tuesday.

The summit is supported by the ministry of commerce and industry's department of industrial policy and promotion, within the government of India.

The three-day India Economic Summit's theme is 'Enhancing India's Competitiveness: A Must for Growth.'

Colette Mathur said that last year the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Economic Forum had identified six pillars critical to India's success in achieving 8 per cent growth.

These were economic reforms, financial services, exports and FDI, geopolitics, manufacturing and the energy sector.

For this year's summit, four blueprints have been prepared by experts from academia and the business community focusing on infrastructure, corporate social responsibility, ICT and agriculture.

Participants will discuss these blueprints at several sessions during the Summit and will further make their recommendations to be submitted to the relevant Indian ministries.

Munjal said that it was a "vote of confidence" that over 400 participants from 20 countries will be participating in the summit. He further added, "Such a strong participation is also an indication regarding the India summits, which have proved very useful as an interface between the international and Indian business communities, the government of India and international political leaders."

A survey conducted by World Economic Forum has praised India's efforts in becoming more competitive in the global market and improving its over all economy.

The survey says that India's competitiveness has increased over the last two years and it will retain its leading position in software development and IT-enabled services.

Mathur said: "India is going in right direction. There are some areas that need more attention and speed. The survey is a useful indicator of what people think about India."

Although the survey recognises India as an emerging global economic power, it says the country will not take full advantage of technology to ensure education for all.

Among key senior Indian government officials participating in record number are Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley, and Divestment Minister Arun Shourie.

The key government secretaries who will be present are Rajeev R Shah, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce; Kanwal Sibal, foreign secretary; Shashank, secretary (EAA), Ministry of External Affairs; R M Abhyankar, secretary (ANA), Ministry of External Affairs; Rathi Vinay Jha, secretary, Ministry of Tourism; S Narayan, economic adviser to the prime minister; S N Menon, special secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Rajiv Sikri, Special Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs; Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, additional secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and L Mansingh, Director-General of Foreign Trade.

N K Singh, member of the Planning Commission, will also be addressing the summit participants, along with Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi.

Key representatives from abroad include Mohammad Hossein Adeli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Kobsak Chutikul, Member of Parliament and Deputy Leader, Chart Thai Party, Thailand; Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago, USA; Ong Keng-Yong, Secretary-General, ASEAN, Jakarta; Philippe de Buck, Secretary-General, Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe, Belgium; Frank Pallone Jr, Congressman from New Jersey (Democrat), USA; Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs of Sri Lanka; Kenneth Juster, US Undersecretary of Commerce; and Zhu Min, General Manager and Economic Adviser to the President, Bank of China, People's Republic of China.

The summit will be co-chaired by Rahul Bajaj, chairman and managing director, Bajaj Auto, India; Carol Bellamy, executive director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), New York; Henner Klein, chief executive officer-elect, A T Kearney, USA; and N R Narayana Murthy, chairman, Infosys Technologies.

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What is needed for the steady growth is discipline and trustworthy attitude in all sectors of economic growth. O.S.Kamalapurkar ...

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