Indian industry charts roadmap for higher growth

Friday, 22 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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A three-day Indian industry summit starting here Sunday will chart a roadmap for achieving higher economic growth over the next few years, the organisers said Thursday.

NEW DELHI: The 18th India Economic Summit, being organised jointly by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will also focus on ways to expedite the reforms drive and improve the physical and social infrastructure.

"All our discussions in the summit will focus on how India can achieve eight percent growth and how the business sector can help in achieving that target," said WEF director Colette Mathur.

"The theme for the summit is in line with the Indian prime minister's call for eight percent growth and the Planning Commission's recommendations for achieving this target in the tenth plan document," Mathur told a press conference here.

India's economy grew by a meagre four percent in the year ended March 31, 2001, compared to the 6.1-percent growth logged a year earlier.

According to Mathur, the summit would deliberate on eight areas that are critical for India's achieving the eight-percent growth target.

The areas are economic reforms, physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, financial infrastructure, communications industries, exports and foreign direct investment, geo-political environment and the manufacturing and agricultural sector.

"The Indian economy is doing well...there are lot of good indicators. Foreign investors are now looking at India in more concrete terms and politically India is taken seriously by world powers.

"India is really moving up on everybody's mind. The eight-percent growth target is achievable if India makes rapid progress on the economic reforms and infrastructure front," the WEF official said.

Over 400 business leaders from 25 countries will be participating at the India Economic Summit, along with a number of ministerial and senior government officials.

Indian ministers who would address the summit include External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, IT and Communications Minister Pramod Mahajan, Tourism Minister Jagmohan, and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Prominent among the international leaders attending the summit include Frank Pallone, Congressman from New Jersey, George Yeo Yong Boon, Singapore's Minister of Trade and Industry and Paul Boateng, Britain's Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

Business tycoons like Y.T. Lee, chairman of South Korea's Trigem Computer, Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto, N.R. Narayana Murthy, chairman of Infosys Technologies, and Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd., will also participate in the summit.

CII president Ashok Soota said the three-day summit would also focus on "critical social issues of concern" such as AIDS, women's empowerment, education and corporate social responsibility.
Source: IANS

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