New Delhi: Visiting UK prime minister, David Cameron, made an appeal Thursday asking New Delhi not to succumb to forces of economic nationalism that threatened to damage the world trading system at a particularly vulnerable time of economic weakness.
Cameron urged India's coalition government to open up Asia's third largest economy in a bid to stabilise global economy. His appeal was aimed at making Delhi loosen its grip on some privileged sectors where foreign direct investment is limited by government regulation. These include defence, retail and the debt markets.
Certain restrictions also apply to trade and investment. India and the European Union still have to sort out trade related issues satisfactorily.
''We need as partners to take the right long term decisions to free up our economies even if that means some political bravery in the short term. It's right for us to argue for free trade and open markets,'' Cameron said.
''We have to defeat the argument that one country's exports are bad for another.''
Promoting Britain as a destination for investment the UK PM made a delightful presentation. "We have some of the best universities in the world,'' he said, ''we have one of the strongest science bases in the world, we have got excellent civil nuclear power, we are a very strong defence industry, and we have a strong financial, insurance and banking services industry. These are things we can share with you."