Port Moresby, April 29 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that the Indian economy has the potential to grow at 8-10 percent per year over the next couple of decades.
“India today stands poised for another leap forward that is predicted to be around India’s GDP growth 7.6 percent in 2016-17 and going to have higher growth rate in the coming years,” Mukherjee said here.
The President was addressing the Papua New Guinea Business Council on the second and concluding day of his official visit to this Pacific island-nation.
“In fact, the Indian economy has the potential to achieve 8-10 percent GDP growth per year over the next couple of decades,” the Presiden, himself a former finance minister of India, said.
Mukherjee said that the world today saw the Indian economy as a bright spot in an otherwise gloom and bleak economic environment all over the world.
“In fact, since the financial crisis in 2008, world economy had never fully recovered,” he said.
“One after another the crisis came but despite the unfavourable environment in the international world of money, finance, trade and commerce, India continued to achieve higher GDP Growth rate except a couple of years as the aftermath of this adverse impact in international scenario.”
On Papua New Guinea’s economic growth, he said it did not truly reflect the potential of a country blessed with abundant natural and mineral resources, highly fertile soil, plenty of fresh water and an extensive coastline teeming with fish and a splendid variety of precious seafood.
“The exclusive economic zone of Papua New Guinea, 3.1 million sq. km, is the guarantee of future growth of this region and would provide the opportunity to Papua New Guinea to lead the Pacific Ocean,” the President said.
He said the challenge for Papua New Guinea was how to best utilise its abundant natural resources for value addition, generating employment and economically empowering its people.
For Papua New Guinea to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, Mukherjee suggeted the application of appropriate technologies, by increasing yield per hectare, by the use of varieties of new fertilisers, and an effective use of fresh water.
“Our government policies have consciously created an environment for indigenous commercial, industrial and manufacturing entities to grow and sustain themselves,” he said.
“Today our private sector has journeyed far and wide… Our companies create value and not merely extract resources. India invites you to partner with them.”
The President said that bilateral trade between India and Papua New Guinea for the year 2014-15 stands at $209.48 million. “
“The balance of course is in favour of Papua New Guinea, but I am not satisfied with this figure because potentiality is much more,” he stated.
“We can offer to each other much more than this. There is scope — not only for increased exports from here to India, but also from India to Papua New Guinea.”
Stating that there were mutual complementarities in many fields between India and Papua New Guinea, Mukherjee said that while India has the agricultural knowledge and technology to boost agricultural productivity, Papua New Guinea has an abundance of fertile lands and ideal conditions for agriculture along with the availability of fresh water.
“While India has one of the biggest jewellery industries in the world, Papua New Guinea has gold; India has a huge energy requirement, Papua New Guinea has huge resources of natural Gas and petroleum,” he said.
“In all these sectors, India and Papua New Guinea can work together to improve industry practices and productivity. Our close cooperation could bring opportunities, growth and progress as well as prosperity to our people.” he stated.