India and the US should further strengthen economic ties amid the tumultuous global economic conditions despite rhetoric coming out of Washington in favour of protectionism, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, who is heading a visiting CII delegation in New York, has said.
Participating in a panel discussion at the prestigious Asia Society, Mittal on Tuesday said the economies of the two countries complement each other and together they could become a powerhouse which would have a potential to resolve some of the very difficult problems facing the world.
Mittal stressed the need for the two nations remaining engaged at this difficult economic time notwithstanding the rhetoric coming out of Washington for protectionism.
Countering the argument of protectionists, he said India is also outsourcing big ticket items like high technology, earthmoving equipment and in future nuclear reactors which would help create jobs in the United States.
Hindustan Motors Chairman CK Birla and Halida Petrochemicals chief Tarun Das were among the delegation members who joined Mittal in pointing out that it is not only the United States which is exporting jobs to India but India too is creating jobs in the world’s largest economy.
The partnership between the two countries is strategic and important, they added. Conceding that the US has strategic partnership with many countries, Mittal said India is a special case with its 1.15 billion population and 630 million in the working age who have the aspiration to consume services and products.
Besides, they are prepared to adopt new products as they are not hung up with country’s socialist past, he added.
The private sector in both countries, he said, is willing to take the relationship to next higher level.
Stating that the Indian economy is coupled with world economy, Mittal said India was growing at around 10 per cent when the financial market meltdown began. As it enters the new financial year in April, the growth rate could come down to six per cent or even lower.
“We are indeed coupled (with world economy). May be we do not have the same reliance as china had with 42 per cent exports,” he added, emphasising that even at 22 to 23 per cent export level, India has great deal of linkages to the world.
“When world markets went into meltdown, Indian markets suffered too,” he added.
“The recovery is going to be led by the US, I have no doubt about that. This is the only nation that can take a brave position and can say ‘we will inject trillion dollars into the economy´. To my mind there is no other nation which can come near,” he added.