Global crisis can’t stop India: Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh

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Global crisis can't stop India: ManmohanTokyo: India will achieve a GDP growth rate of 7.5 to 8 per cent this year despite the current global economic turmoil, which has only partially affected the country, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has said.

“India is relatively less affected” by the global financial crisis as “our banks are well capitalised,” Singh has told major Japanese newspapers in New Delhi ahead of his ongoing three-day official visit to Japan.

“The country will be able to grow by 7.5 to 8 per cent,” Singh was quoted as saying by Ashahi newspaper.

Backing Japan’s push for broadening the frame of financing the International Monetary Fund to overcome the global economic turmoil, he said: “If the reinforcement of IMF is necessary, India will willingly co-operate,” the report said.

Responding to Japanese media’s questions on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Singh acknowledged that since differences existed between the two sides, it might not be possible for them to clinch a deal during his current visit.

However, the Prime Minister said he was hopeful that the ambitious CEPA could be finalised by the end of the year, another leading Japanese daily, Yomiuri Shimbon reported.

India and Japan had started negotiations on the CEPA in January 2007 and have held several rounds, even on the eve of Singh’s visit here. The two sides, however, are yet to reach an agreement on issues like simplification of the approval procedure in Japan of generic drug, which India exports and Japanese demand for concessions on its exports of automobile parts to India, the reports said.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor that is being planned with Japanese assistance.

Describing it as an “industrial artery,” Singh said the 1,500 km between New Delhi and Mumbai was one of the kernels of the co-operation between India and Japan and hoped that it will attract the attention of Japanese companies and that they would invest in the country in a big way.

The report said the project involves an investment of $100 billion.

This is an ambitious concept in transforming business style of the two nations. We expect that we will be able to start the construction of the freight railway that will connect the two cities, he added.


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