As the global financial crisis deepened, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said a fast growing India can help the world economy, around which no protectionist barriers should be erected.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Singh said India wants to quicken the pace of its transformation in partnership with the international community.
“A fast growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy,” he said, adding developing countries need investment, technology and market access for their products.Despite global headwinds, Indian economy has been expanding close to 8 per cent, the second fastest growth in the world after China.
In the backdrop of protectionist measures in several developed countries, Singh called upon the international community not to let economic slowdown trigger barriers to movement of people, services and capital.
“We should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls around ourselves through protectionism or erecting barriers …,” he said.
“The shoots of recovery which were visible after the economic and financial crisis of 2008 have yet to blossom. In many respects the crisis has deepened even further,” he said.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the need for reform of governance systems of international financial institutions, stating “deficit in global governance” was one of the several things which can be done collectively.
Expressing concern over the world economy being in trouble, the Prime Minister said the recessionary trends in the US, Europe and Japan are affecting confidence in world financial and capital markets.
He said these developments are bound to have a negative impact on developing countries which have to bear the additional burden of inflationary pressures.
His comments come in the backdrop of India battling a near double-digit inflation, which has been exasperated by a sharp fall in rupee value, pushing up the landed cost of commodity imports, including the crude oil.
Singh said a spiral in energy and food prices are introducing instability, especially for the developing countries.
“There are still millions living in poverty across the world. Their plight has worsened, for no fault of theirs, due to the global economic and financial crisis of the recent years. The actions of governments around the world are, therefore, under close scrutiny,” he said.
Referring to India’s progress, he said in the last few decades tens of millions of people have been lifted out of abject poverty, “we are in a position to feed our population better, to educate them better and to widen their economic choices. But we still have a very long way to go”