Noting that India's rapid growth is a critical engine of global economy, PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi has said the business community in the US was eager on playing an active role in the country's future economic development.
"India is now on a trajectory of more rapid growth. It now stands in fact as a critical engine of global growth, a vital partner in global security and a model for democratic development," Nooyi, who is the chairperson of the US-India Business Council, said following an address by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Washington.
Underlining that US-India relations have been deepening, Nooyi said, "We've been able to transform the US-India relationship fundamentally from one of Cold War mistrust to really strategic partnership."
"I know I speak for all the business interests in this room when I say that we wish you the best for that development," she noted. "More than that, we want to actively participate. In this interconnected world, no nation will succeed unless it enjoys profitable relationships with others."
"Preparing that relationship for the next level is within our grasp and it only requires the firm commitment of both our countries," she added.
Earlier in his talk, the Prime Minister noted that India needed great investments in human resource development, education, and hard infrastructure.
"It goes without saying that human resource development is probably the most critical component of our development aspirations," he said. "If we succeed in improving the skill level of our population, we would have mounted an effective attack on problems of poverty, ignorance and disease."
Nooyi responded saying the private sector in US can play crucial role in the future partnerships with India and help strengthen several areas of development including infrastructure, education, defence cooperation and skills development.
Highlighting Singh's contribution towards India's economic rejuvenation, and his role in placing the country on the global stage, Nooyi said the Indian leader should be counted as a hero.
"The long history of India contains many great men and women. The short history of Indian democracy has its heroes as well. I think you should already be added to their number," she said.
"In your quiet and modest way, first as the finance minister and now as the prime minister, you have done more than anyone to lift the Indian people and to transform India from one stage of development to the next," she said.