When India prospers, US will prosper better: Warren Buffett (Lead)

March 22nd, 2011 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Bangalore, March 22 (IANS) Billionaire US investor Warren Buffett Tuesday said America will prosper better if countries like India prosper.

“I am an enormous believer in trade…Trade is essential for world prosperity. The more countries like India and China prosper, America will prosper better,” he told reporters soon after arriving here on his first visit to India.

He was answering a question on the perception in the US government and other circles that India, particularly Bangalore, was taking away American jobs.

“There are 309 million Americans. There will be such feelings,” the 80-year-old Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, said.

Buffett said he would like to invest in India, though he did not go into details.

“We hope to spend some money here. India is a very logical place to look so I hope I spend some money here,” he said.

Buffett said he did not consider India to be an emerging market but a big market.

“I don’t consider India as an emerging market, I consider India as a very big market. We continue to look at large countries like India,” he said.

On investment insurance sector, Buffett indicated that the 26 percent cap on foreign investment was a hindrance.

Berkshire Hathaway is a corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Buffett is expected to launch a portal to sell insurance policies during his stay in New Delhi.

“It would be more attractive if we could buy more than 26 percent of the company,” Buffett said.

On his philanthropic activities and reports that he was in India to urge Indian billionaires to give more to charity, Buffett said he would only be talking to people.

“Your culture is different, history is different. I will be only talking to people on what is being done in the United States. We are not here to organise anything,” he said.

On what he would be discussing in his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said: “We will talk what the prime minister wants to talk about, not what I want to.”

Asked about his perception of Indian economy, Buffett said “it would be preposterous to give an opinion on Indian economy two hours after landing. I will be seeing more Indian economy (during the visit).”

On advice to India on economy, he said “India has done pretty well without my advice.”

He had no tips to offer to investors either. “Invest in what you understand,’ he said.

Buffett also said his visiting China first and India only now “has nothing to do with priority.”

“You have to regard me as retarded,” he said evoking laughter.

On US economy, he said it was doing ‘better and better every month.”

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