India needs urgent reforms: Singapore dy PM

India needs urgent reforms: Singapore dy PM

Suggests increase in foreign trade to improve interactions

India needs urgent reforms: Singapore dy PM

 Encouraged by India’s strong economic growth, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Friday said that the country was on a strong wicket, but could not afford to rest before reaching its potential 8-10% economic growth rate.

“India has the largest unfulfilled potential of any country I know in the world, and it needs urgency to achieve that. Reforms are underway. India leads the world in some areas like the first digital identification infrastructure in Aadhaar,” he said, giving a lecture on Transform India organised by Niti Aayog.

In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought ideas from world leaders for transforming India’s work culture, bureaucracy and administration.

Shanmugaratnam said that the country was uniquely positioned to recast the global narrative, to achieve broad-based prosperity through deeper strategic interaction with the global economy. He said that India needed to increase its exports and imports, in order to increase deeper strategic interaction with the world.

“For any given level of demand, even in the world which is growing slowly, one can either have high exports and high imports, or low exports and low imports,” he said.

“But the big difference between high exports and high imports, is this discipline of dynamism, the content learning which comes with interacting with the world, and it is a learning where India will not just be a follower, but has the potential to be a leader in many fields,” the deputy prime minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, said.

He said that India had come a long way in opening its economy in the last 25 years, but it needed a much more concerted approach in the next phase of its journey. That was why ‘Made in India’ had to be 'Made in India for the World’.

Calling for bold economic reforms, he said, “India has to move with urgency to achieve its potential. A growth rate of 8-10% is not a luxury, it will merely get India about 70% of per capita income of China, in 20-years-time.”

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