Take India’’s concerns to the world: Mukherjee

January 8th, 2009 - 8:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Chennai, Jan.8 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that overseas Indians could take to the world stage some of Indias key concerns such as terrorism, education and trade agenda.
In particular, he said, they could convey the message to their respective countries that India is fully committed to free and fair trade.
Expressing appreciation for diaspora sympathy for the Mumbai terror attacks, he called upon the overseas Indian community to raise its voice against sponsored terrorism, as terrorism diminishes mankind.
The Minister emphasized inclusive growth as the way forward for India, and urged delegates to participate in Indias development process.
With India emerging as a global power, S Samy Vellu, President, Malaysian Indian Congress, Malaysia, said that the Indian diaspora can contribute by establishing an Indian Diaspora Business Consultative Group to review, exchange and promote business growth.
Overseas Indians could assist India by promoting specialized industries, developing a mobile banking landscape, and urbanizing rural India to eradicate poverty. He also suggested a Diaspora Circle of Excellence to hold strategic workshops to tap both Indias and the diasporas potential, he added.
Sam Pitroda, Chairman, C-Sam Inc, USA, called on the diaspora to work with the government in building new institutions for education especially at the district levels. He stated that the real challenge for an emerging India is to bring about innovation in the organizational structure and find new tools and technology for the future.
Moderated by Dr Shashi Tharoor, Chairman, Afras Ventures, USA, the panel discussion hosted eminent speakers such as Professor Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History and Director of South Asia Initiative, Harvard University, Mr Sat Pal Khattar, Chairman, Khattar Holdings Private Limited, Singapore, Dr Ruby Dhalla, Member of Parliament, Canada, and R L Lakhina, Founder & Executive President, Netherlands Indian Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands.
Delegates were urged to expand their horizons and contribute in the social sector, engage in developing primary and higher education, and act as brand ambassadors to promote and champion Indias concerns in the international arena.
At the session on the global economic crisis, Professor C K Prahalad, Professor, University of Michigan Business School, USA, said that the current financial crisis has demonstrated the interconnectedness of nations.
He stated that India is an integral part of the global system and solutions to this crisis must be globally co-ordinated. The key to addressing Indias problems in the crisis is by providing local solutions. The new competitive global landscape will be characterized by volatility and the Government of India has shown agility in the face of the current global crisis, felt the Professor.
However, Professor Prahalad cautioned that India cannot afford a slowdown in domestic growth.
He said India needs a growth strategy that would include eliminating luxury taxes on durable goods and lowering interest rates to provide affordable credit.
India can grow at around 7.5 percent to 8 percent, he stressed, adding that the country must open up growth oriented investments and place Infrastructure projects on the fast track.
Professor Prahalad highlighted that India must focus on next practices and not on best practices. He stated that India can become the leader in three areas viz. creating sustainable development models using renewable sources of energy; creating an educated India by training 500 million people professionally; and creation of a connected society with access to technology for all Indians without discrimination. He urged the Indian diaspora to engage themselves in the developmental agenda of the nation.
Professor K Narayanan Nair, Director, Centre for Development Studies, mentioned that the current global crisis can be converted into an opportunity for India through investment in the development of world-class infrastructure.
C Seetharaman, Chairman, Doha Bank mentioned that the present economic crisis had demonstrated the importance of global governance and transparency. Mr Tarun Das, Chief Mentor, CII, who chaired the session, stated that though the manufacturing industry had witnessed a severe slowdown in the last six months, India still had the potential to reach 7 percent growth. (ANI)

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