‘India’s size will not hurt its neighbours’
In a bid to woo Sri Lankan investments in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday refuted the notion that India’s economic size will hurt its neighbours and expressed keenness to roll out the red carpet for the island country’s business community. He said the two nations should “move boldly” to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
“I often say that a nation’s fortunes are linked to its neighbourhood. There are many in India who would argue that India is too large to need her neighbours. There are many in our region who worry that India’s economic size will hurt them. I disagree with both views. For one, we all need a stable and peaceful neighbourhood to concentrate on national development,” Modi told a business gathering put together by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo.
Describing the gathering as one of the “most important” meetings, he said, “This is because no matter how old and strong the relationship is, economic cooperation is often the locomotive that gives it momentum. It is also important because for all of us in our region, the most important priority is transforming the lives of our people. Our path will be determined by our economic choices and the quality of governance. But, business enterprises will remain critical for our success.”
Pitching India as a “large market”, he said he believes that countries do better when the entire region moves together. “I said at the SAARC Summit that barriers of boundaries inhibit progress; international partnerships give it speed. That is why we see a rising tide of regional integration and cooperation across the world. Our region is rich in resources. We constitute a large market. We complement each other. Therefore, our cooperation can be of huge benefit to all of us,” he told the business community in Sri Lanka.
Giving examples in South Asia, he said “they show us that differences in size is no constraint to beneficial partnerships, if we use our strengths and seize our opportunities”. He said Bhutan benefits from hydropower exports to India. Nepal has significant manufacturing exports to India — in part driven by Indian investors.
Sharing the Sri Lankan industry’s concerns about the “huge trade imbalance”, he said, “We will try to make it easier and smoother for you to access the Indian market.”
Source:: Indian Express