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Manmohan Singh invites Indians abroad to join country's growth story

world Updated: Nov 26, 2009 10:39 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited people of Indian origin abroad to take advantage of modern technology and flexible policies to build a "true intellectual and business partnership" between Indians and Americans.

"India is on the march," he told a gathering of the Indian American community at a reception hosted in Washington on Wednesday by the Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, at the end of what he described as "a fruitful and most stimulating visit".

"While the global slowdown has hurt us too, we have been able to catch our breath and move forward," Manmohan Singh said, noting: "With a gross savings ratio of over 35 percent of national income, and a gross investment ratio that is almost close to 40 percent, we now have the economic pre-conditions for sustained high growth".

But "growth brings with it new challenges and new opportunities", he said, underlining India's need for investment in education and health care to build better systems in these spheres, besides modern infrastructure, Manmohan Singh said.

"More than the resources, however, we will require imagination and innovation to succeed," the prime minister said, suggesting: "People of Indian origin worldwide can contribute mightily to this effort".

Noting that in the past few years India had already experienced what has been called a "reverse brain-drain" but which he preferred to call "brain gain" or, indeed, "a meeting of minds", he said India had tried to encourage this flow by making it easier for Indian and American scholars, scientists, business leaders and other professionals to work together.

Acknowledging the contribution a dynamic and creative community of Indian Americans to India's progress and modernisation, he invited all Indian Americans and non-resident Indians who wish to return home to India in one capacity or another.

"You no longer have to make a choice between here and there. Modern technology and our flexible policies have opened possibilities of working in both places," he said. "I want to see a true intellectual and business partnership between Indians and Americans in years to come."

Appreciating the enterprise and contribution to knowledge and commerce with which "you have given the land of your ancestors a new identity in the new world", Manmohan Singh hoped "you will be the bridge that will continue to connect our two nations and societies".