Ex-US envoy says India may lead the world by 2030, lists areas
Former US ambassador to India Richard Verma has said India may lead the world in every category and with the youngest workforce in the region, the South Asian country will hold that advantage until 2050. “… the most populous nation, the most college graduates, the largest middle-class, the most cell phone and Internet users, along with the third-largest military and third-largest economy, all coexisting in the world's largest democracy, with 600 million people under the age of 25,” Richard Verma said on Monday, news agency PTI reported.
Verma made the remarks during the commencement address to the Jindal University School of Banking and Finance in Haryana's Sonipat.
“That's on top of the massive development that is taking place in India today right before our eyes. Some $2 trillion will be spent on infrastructure in just the next decade,” he said. "The bulk of the infrastructure needed for 2030 is yet to be built. That's why some 100 new airports are under planning or construction today alone," he added.
He told students that India has the youngest workforce in Asia. “…and you'll hold that advantage until 2050. That's pretty formidable,” he said.
Verma, who was the first-ever Indian American envoy to India, said the modern US-India relationship was quite young. “We mark the start of this era with President Clinton's visit to India in the year 2000. It was a breakthrough visit after decades of being somewhat distant, and even at times, estranged,” he said.
Verma asserted that it was now time for the relationship between India and the United States to deliver. “We can no longer look decades into the future. The time to deliver results for our people is now – it's today – that's a big challenge, but it's also exciting, for us here in America, and for all of you in India, especially as you start out on your studies and then careers,” he said.
The former US envoy said the ties between India and his country is the "most consequential relationship of this century." "We can do so much together. Whether it's battling a pandemic, countering terrorism and proliferation, or bringing to market all those new innovations and solutions that will make people's lives easier, safer, greener, more prosperous, more inclusive and more secure,” he explained. "We can do that. We are not there yet, but can we get there."
Richard Verma's comments came days after US secretary of state Antony Blinken said during his visit to the country last month that there are few relationships more vital than the one between India and the United States. Blinken also said the two countries should continue to stand together as leading democracies amid rising global threats to democracy and international freedoms.
He told the students that they will have "the world at your fingertips". “Your country will have a leading seat in international institutions, your businesses will continue to power economic growth and innovations globally, and all of you can choose what role you want to play today and in the future.”
Richard Verma, a lawyer, served as the US ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017.