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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

India can be largest economy: Sandberg

PTI  Hyderabad , July 01, 2014
First Published: 02:07 IST(1/7/2014) | Last Updated: 02:12 IST(1/7/2014)

India has the potential to become the largest economy in the world, Facebook chief operating officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg said here on Monday.

Sandberg, said the over $2 trillion (Rs.120 lakh croe) Indian economy has immense potential to create jobs and drive growth, especially with its huge base of small and medium businesses (SMBs).

“India has the potential to become the largest economy in the world. And if you look at economic growth, jobs are a hard situation all over the world. From the US to developing markets, everyone is concerned about jobs.”

“In India, the SMB growth is strong. And Internet provides more growth stories to SMBs. People are connecting to people and getting more customers and that’s what leads to economic growth,” she said.

“India is Facebook’s second largest market, fastest growing market, fastest growing Internet connectivity in APAC. It is of high priority for us,” Sandberg added.

Micro, small and medium businesses contribute nearly 8% of India’s gross domestic product, 45% of the manufacturing output and 40% of exports.

India has the world’s third largest Internet userbase with over 200 million users. Over 100 million Indians are on Facebook, with around 84 million users accessing the site from their mobile devices, according to research firm eMarketer India.

India, which is considered as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, saw its growth rate plummeting to less than 5% in the last two years. However, the industry is hopeful of a rebound with a new stable government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is perceived as a pro-business leader.

The International Monetary Fund has projected a growth rate of 6.4% for India next year, in line with the gradual strengthening of global markets.

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