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'No protectionism against outsourcing'

The US President also favoured easy access for Indians to US varsities.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 21:11 IST

US President George W Bush on Friday ruled out protectionist measures to address domestic concerns on outsourcing and favoured easy access for Indian students to American universities and schools.

"I have taken a position, the US will reject protectionism. We won't fear competition. We welcome competition," he said interacting with young entrepreneurs at the Indian School of Business, which has collaboration with Wharton School and Kellog School of Management.

Noting that people lose jobs as a result of globalisation, Bush said, "losing job is painful. But the fundamental question is how does the government react."

Bush's South Asia sojourn

March 1: In Afghanistan

Surprise visit

On Osama

March 1: In India

Red carpet welcome

March 2

Ceremonial reception

Visit to Rajghat

Nuclear deal

Kalam's banquet

March 3

In Hyderabad

Delhi's Purana Qila

He said one way was to resort to protectionist laws and the other was to educate people so that they found jobs in the 21st century.

"Let us make sure that pro-growth economic policies are in place -- it means low taxes, less regulations, fewer lawsuits and wise energy policies," the US President said.

Bush said globalisation provides "great opportunities" and asserted that his country would not "pull back" from competition.

Highlighting India's importance in terms of business, he said the country had a 30 crore middle class market.

"If we make a product they want at a reasonable price, it becomes viable. It will have a market in India," he said, adding the people of America should maintain their confidence about their future.

Bush, whose audience included several entrepreneurs educated in the US, said the American Universities and colleges should be accessible to Indians.

He said it helps change the perception of the country. "We welcome people to the US so that you can see first hand good side and bad side and you can draw your own conclusions."

Referring to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal clinched on Thursday, Bush said with this the two countries had "put behind" themselves the Cold War and decided to "move forward as strategic partners".

He said India had always been an important country for the US "but the problem is that international politics had made it difficult for previous Presidents and previous Prime Ministers to reach common agreements."

The US President said the Cold War caused the world to become "pretty well divided. If you were on the one side of the divide, it was politically difficult to deal and work with people on the other side of the divide.

"That began to change, of course. So, I would not say India was not an important country up to now."

With change in the Indo-US relationship and growing strategic partnership, the Export Control List will take that into account, he said, inferring that the restrictions on trade with India in certain items, including electronic goods, would be eased.

India has been an "excellent partner in non-proliferation" over the past decades, he said, adding he would tell the American people that it was "an important agreement to help deal with proliferation issues".

Pointing out that nuclear energy was a clean fuel which did not affect the environment, Bush said the deal would be helpful to India to meet its electricity needs in a way that doesn't pollute the environment.

The US, India and China must use technologies to ensure that not only their economies expand but also to ensure that environment is not adversely affected, he said.

The US President hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Indian government for "working with me and our government to show the world what is possible when people come together strategically".

He said it was in the interest of the US to work for trade with India as also to see that entrepreneurial class grows in India so that "dreams can be realised".

Buffalo, farmers charm Bush

Earlier, Bush, wearing a blue shirt and a pair of black trousers, walked around the compound of the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, trying his hand at threaded weaving looms put on display.

Accompanied by Chief Minister YS Rajashekara Reddy, the US President spoke to women of self-help groups, posing for pictures, signing autographs and taking straw hats as mementos.

Folk dancers tapped their feet to drumbeats as Bush walked past in a leisurely pace, waving to the artistes and planting kisses on the faces of children around.

Bush, a Texan, also saw a seven-year-old buffalo, Murra, which was brought in from Haryana.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 09:44 IST