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Udupi: Pranab Mukherjee Speaks on Role of India in Asian Economy

Udupi: Pranab Mukherjee Speaks on Role of India in Asian Economy
Sheeja Moodubelle
Pics: Hemanath Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi
Udupi, May 26:
Union finance minister and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee visited Manipal to participate in a seminar and to inaugurate the academic block at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, here on Saturday May 26.
He inaugurated the academic block of MIT at 3.30 pm.

He then participated in a national seminar on "21st Century as the Asian Century: Role of India and China" organized by Manipal Centre for Asian Studies at Fortune Inn Valley View.
Dr Arvind Kumar, proffessor and head of Manipal Centre for Asian studies was the convener of the seminar. Manipal University chancellor Ramdas Pai was also present.

Pranab Mukherjee's address at the national seminar:

"It gives me great pleasure to be here at the inaugural of this national Seminar organized by the Manipal Centre for Asian Studies. We are only 12 years into the new century and yet, the changes, social, cultural and of course, economic that we are witnessing worldwide are significant, rapid, awe inspiring and sometimes even dislocative. In that context, to infer how the 21st century would unfold for Asia is not gong to be easy. Yet, I would like to emphasize with some determination and hope that the 21st century could well be shaped by Asia.
I cannot say whether we are destined to make this an Asian Century, but I am sure that we have to strive for such an outcome. I am fully aware that challenges that we face to fulfill such a vision are not exclusively economic, but I intend to briefly share some thoughts relevant to this discussion, primarily focusing on economic factors.
Asia embodies immense social, cultural and economic heterogeneity. Yet many Asian economies share a common pattern of historical evolution and economic development. In this vastly populous continent, we also find economies that are at various stages of maturity. At one end of the spectrum are economies like Japan that have experience sustained economic prosperity and now find themselves in a phase of relatively sluggish economic growth. At the other end are economies like China and India that are experiencing rapid growth even as the world is gripped with uncertainty and highly volatile markets. Apart from the so-called newly industrialized Asian Economies like South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore that have done well over the past few decades, economies in South East Asia, most prominently, Indonesia, are on their way to catching up with major emerging economies. China has already overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy.
This transformation in Asia must be understood in the context of shifts taking place in the world economy. As we are all aware, following a staggered recovery from the economic crisis of 2008, widespread economic problems have surfaced in Europe, presenting a further setback to the global economy. The sovereign debt crisis in the Euro Zone has deepened without a decisive resolution in sight. In this context, the growth performance of Asian economies in the short to medium-term is crucial not only to keep the ‘engine’ of global growth running by also to haste recovery from the present global slump.
The current situation presents some unique opportunities. A crisis of the magnitude that we are witnessing compels us to take notice of our deficiencies, suitably reorient policies and redefine priorities. While economic challenges faced by each Asian country are unique and there is no one-size-fits-all future trajectory of economic development, there is worldwide recognition of the fact that most Asian economies, including India are poised to attain sustained long-term growth, notwithstanding some short-term policy challenges.
Timely policy interventions helped most of the Asian economies, including India, to recover quickly from the 2008-09 global crises. In 2012, as per IMF estimates, Asia’s real GDP growth of around 8.2 per cent outpaced growth in other regions of the world with China and India being in the forefront. The Indian economy, in particular, recovered with an average growth of 8.4 per cent in the two years flowing the crisis in 2008-09. Since then, factors including monetary and fiscal policy tightening, uncertainties in capital flows and slowdown in external demand have impacted the growth performances of these economies to varying degrees. India’s growth in 2011-12 is estimated to have slowed to 6.9 per cent. With heightened uncertainty in the Euro Zone, the short term concern, at present is regarding reversal in FII flows leading to increased currency volatility in several Asian economies. We in India are witnessing unprecedented depreciation of the rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar with the current account deficit widening to around 4 per cent of GDP. Even in such a scenario, which is being addressed via a slew of policy measure, the IMF expects growth in Asia and Pacific region to gain momentum in 2012, with growth projected at 6 per cent in 2012 and 6.5 per cent in 2013.
With a reasonably quick recovery, emerging economics in Asia are generally better placed vis-à-vis other emerging economies to withstand the fresh round of global economic turmoil. In the long term, a key advantage that Asian economies, prominently India and China, possess is high rates of saving and investment. Large size of the domestic market coupled with mechanisms to harness potential demographic dividends can lend robustness to the Asian growth story. India’s resilience, in particular, results from the fact that the bulk of India’s GDP is driven by domestic demand. A calibrated approach to capital account convertibility by India has. To a significant extent, prevented surge and reversal of debt creating capital flows. India’s banking sector is robust and export basket is increasingly getting diversified with developing countries being our largest export market. Our evolving financial sector robustness in the economy. These policy measures by India are slowly gaining recognition as best pratices, in Asia and elsewhere, worthy of emulation in a post-crisis world. China’s policy too has started emphasizing a growth strategy that is more dependent on domestic demand.
Asian economies, in general have evolved to be attractive destinations for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which is aiding innovation in these economies. As per the Global Innovation Index 2011 (published by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ) several Asian economies including Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and China count among the world’s leading innovators. Many of these economies are not just successful growth stories but also examples of successful public policy experiments that achieved growth via export orientation, marcoeconomic stability and innovative institution-building. It attracted investment, which in turn propelled them up the manufacturing value chain. Needless to say, we all need to keep drawing appropriate lessons from these economies while they need to sustain their achievements to perform even better in the course of the ‘ Asian century’.
There are however several challenges that we face. A major one is to devise ways in which the fruits of high growth can benefit the poorest of the poor. Poverty and inequality, with their associated ills continue to be single most common challenge. Going forward, GDP growth in many developing nations must be accompanied by measures aimed at fulfilling the aspirations of a young population just as social security compulsions would assume prominence in aging societies. We need to ensure adequate investment and utilization of funds in sectors like health, education and skill-development that are crucial for human capital build-up. We must also create employment opportunities so that there is a broad-based stake created in the growth process. Successful models of financial inclusion need to be replicated to address the economic well-being of the disadvantaged. Most importantly, governance structures in Asia need to evolve to address these requirements.

Resolution of long-standing politics conflicts, managing urbanization, addressing climate change issues and containing adverse effects of a rapidly deteriorating natural environment that is facing pressure from burgeoning populations are some of the other emerging challenges that confront many of us in Asia. Lack of infrastructure and dearth of resources to finance large-scale infrastructure initiatives stand in the way of achieving inclusive growth in many economies including India. Energy needs that are sure to grow as the benefits of growth get further dispersed are a major concern. Investment in renewable energies as well as in technologies that make such sources of energy cost-effective must therefore gain pace.

I must stress that collaborative efforts are a must to tackle these issues that result in strengthening of cross-country institutions and delivery mechanisms within countries where these are needed the most. While recent efforts like setting up of an ASEAN infrastructure fund would surely address some of the problems outlined above, Asian economies need to collectively think on channels of engagement with each other that create synergies directed at addressing common challenges. We must appreciate that to gain in unison, we need to act in unison. Even in existing multilateral for a including the G-20 and IMF we should aim to coordinate more in areas where there is significant collective gain to be achieved.

Finally I would like to underscore that the existing divide between advanced and developing Asia must be bridged to make the 21st century an Asian century. To this end, while advanced Asia must maintain its economic ‘miracle’, an environment must be created for the rest to catch-up and prosper. Ultimately it would depend on how individual Asian economies manage their ‘rise’ strategically in order to co-exist and co-prosper."

Comment on this article

  • Robin, Bangalore

    Mon, May 28 2012

    Oh... Pranab... He.. He... The man once kicked out from Congress by Rajiv Gandhi is now speaking.... Parva illa... Parava illa.... maatadu... maatadu... Swiss Bank accounts yella tumba secret anta helalikke bandidya ?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, May 27 2012

    Dinesh Poojary....I am amused or perturbed by your farce comments because ....I am astonished to see your comments against a Indian women LATE PADMAPRIA BHAT in daijiworld is very very degradable...And if you use such kind of word for our sister than I have no word to explain how your personality is and by the by your supporter Langooracharya's also..

    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Kiran VS, Udupi

    Sun, May 27 2012

    The comments here are hilarious. Daiji readers instead of exhibiting their ignorance, google first and then comment.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Maxim Pinto, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sun, May 27 2012

    This guy is sole responsible for india's economy today.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidanand Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Sun, May 27 2012

    There are few bunches of “Dumb Ministers” available in UPA Government. Great Economist Become “PM” but can’t talk & hear. Very clever and intelligent Person become “Home Minister” but he sees only saffron colour. Great Supreme Court Lawyer become "Education Minister" but somehow he calculated 3G Scam value as “Zero” Mr. Clean become “Finance Minister” but he always believe in charging our own common people only. Partially handicapped “Petroleum Minister” says increase in Petrol price due to State Government only. Mr. Neat & Clean become “Defense Minister” but he always bullying Army General instead of boosting their moral to fight with enemy. But I think only Raja is the most Clever Minister we have seen till date

    DisAgree [6] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • alfy, Dubai

    Sun, May 27 2012

    Just by being in the USA, do you think you are qualified enough to make a comment like that from that distance. Why are you hiding in the States, come and help India. It is because of you stupid migrants we are suffering in India.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sun, May 27 2012

    Langoolacharya., Belman/USA

    Thanks ..

    But that guy is SIMI-literate guy.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya., Belman/USA.

    Sun, May 27 2012

    Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru,

    What else you could expect from a semi-literate guy like him?

    Just ignoring him is more dignified than responding to him.

    Jai Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    DisAgree [14] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunilraj, Udupi

    Sun, May 27 2012


    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • TSPA, Oman

    Sat, May 26 2012

    Pranab ..while you were in royal slumber ..the rupee is slipped below your knees .. time to switch to some indian beedis for your cuban cigars?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, May 26 2012

    You need to learn common sense. I do not want any lecture from extremists. Mind your own business.

    DisAgree [26] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh shetty, mangalore

    Sat, May 26 2012


    DisAgree [18] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, May 26 2012

    Dinesh Poojary..He did not come for a political rally...He was asked to give lecture on certain subject.For that no political leader need to welcome him.I think for some reasons..he is apolitical...Use your common sense and don't make bla bla..politics.

    DisAgree [36] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Durgadas Suvarna, BLORE/MLORE

    Sat, May 26 2012

    @ Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai dont worry no one will listen to his boring speech in Karnataka.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, May 26 2012

    I think state congress leaders are busy in looting today also. No one is to be seen here to see/welcome their Delhi boss.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, May 26 2012

    Pranab Mukarjee certainly, lost to give UPADESHA on economy because person like him is more inclined to capitalist rather than socialistic economy.Relinquish some share of excise duty of fuel and don't murmur always subsidy subsidy.....We are passing very difficult time as Dollar shoot up all time high which created mess of the economy as we are defending 80% of the fossil fuel from foreign countries.

    Politicians has no foresight, no planning and no preventive measures.More than 15000 crores of Dollar injucted to economy by RBI, yet, Dollar could not be reached easily. Injecting Dollar is short time remedies...We have to increase our GDP and our growth rate is hovering @ 7% which need to be enhanced.Inflation is burning issue which should tackled inclusively.Prnab Da I am sorry,it is not the conducive time for your lecturer......

    DisAgree [23] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, May 26 2012

    Please speak on "Role of India in Asian Corruption". You will have more stories to speak.

    Your boss will soon be awarded "MOST CORRUPT LADY in ASIA/WORLD".

    Your Another boss will be awarded "MOST SILENT MAN ON EARTH".

    DisAgree [25] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh shetty, mangalore

    Sat, May 26 2012

    @ Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai.



    DisAgree [24] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai

    Sat, May 26 2012

    I wonder why he choose Karnataka for this speech?

    DisAgree [23] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • krishna, mangalore

    Sat, May 26 2012

    The guy who messed up Indian economy to hell and who doesn't have patience to hear is giving lecture on economy others greivence?What was the cost of commodities barely 5 years back what is now?It is more than 4-5 times?This kind of things can't happen anywhere on the earth other than in India. Let him correct the sinking economy and talk later.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh shetty, mangalore

    Sat, May 26 2012




    DisAgree [24] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

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