India growing at 9-10% could pull US economy along: NITI Aayog CEO

23 April 2016

Amitabh Kant India growing at a faster clip of  9-10 per cent for at least three decades, would have greater spillover effects on the global economy and could be instrumental in taking Indo-US ties to the next level, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday.

"It is possible to provide greater momentum, greater fillip to Indo-US relationship if India continues to grow rapidly. India is growing at about 7.5 per cent per annum. It's an oasis of growth in the midst of a very barren economic landscape," Kant said at an event organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in India.

But, for this, he said, the United States should open up its service sector for India, which has been liberalising its economy for the US and other developed economies.

Earlier, in a presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, Kant had said growing by 10 per cent a year would transform India to become a $10-trillion economy with no poverty in 2032.

India has been the fastest growing economy, but he said, the real challenge for the country is to achieve 9-10 per cent growth rate, Kant said said on Friday.

"FDI (foreign direct investment) into India has gone up by 48 percent at a time when FDI across the world has fallen by 16 percent. The challenge before India now is to grow at 9-10 percent for three decades or more," he said here at the 24th annual general meeting of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM).

Kant however stressed that for India to grow at 10 per cent, it needs to become a very easy place to do business and embrace free trade and innovation.

"India needs to embrace free trade to penetrate its exports. India can grow only if investments come in and for that it has to be a part of the global supply chain. Basic essence of free trade and free investments must grow.

At the same time, he said, the US should do its bit for imparting greater momentum to the bilateral ties. Although Indo-US relationship has done "very well" during the past year, he said, it is yet to be fully tapped and can be taken to far greater heights.

The more the market opens up, the greater is the scope for manufacturing expansion, he said even as he called upon the US to roll out a red carpet to the Indian service sector and software companies.

"India has opened up its multiple sectors from railways to pension funds to medical devices for foreign investment. India needs to do smart sustainable urbanisation and it will have to be in cooperation with the American companies. IBM, Cisco, Honeywell are top class global US companies that have done well in India. Honeywell could not have achieved the growth it has, had it not been for its growth in India," he said.

"We have opened our sectors. America too should open its service sectors for Indians as cooperation can't be one way," he said, adding that India will be the vanguard of the technological innovation that will happen.

"India needs to become an innovative society. We need to strengthen relationship with American universities. Future of India will depend on ability to design and innovate. US has a merit-based society. It is this merit-based society based on innovation is what India needs to capture, if it wants to grow at 9-10 per cent growth rate," he said.

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