This refers to “India’s China gap” (June 27). The opinion of the advisory mentioned in the article is governed by skepticism. His thinking is instead governed by uncertainty of post-election Indian economic policy. Red tape, nepotism and corruption are easy explanations for an escape route for investors as these are not restricted to India. India is also going in for a liberalised trade policy. The current global scenario has to be considered in this regard. Presently, it has created investor uncertainty in view of a trade stand-off between the US and China and the prevailing friction between the US and Iran.
The possibility of intensification of the oil crisis in case of a conflict in West Asia will hit industry in India. However, this is not a permanent feature. Investors are thus temporarily hesitant in this regard as they expect quick return on capital. Coming to Vietnam, despite its strategic location on the South China Sea, it will not have the capacity to absorb flight of capital from China, and simultaneously attract continuous long term investment from Japan and the Far East. However, India though geographically closer to China has a volatile political relationship with the latter. To state India will never be the next China in the medium term is an exaggeration and part of a wavering US commercial policy that the advisory has ignored.
The Indian economy is more capitalist oriented and invites foreign investment into the same. We are however adopting a narrow minded approach towards language. Communication is an important requirement for trade and commerce and providing secondary status to English will harm both our national and international economic image. Ultimately, it is the quality, variety and talent of the workforce that should gain preference for a growing economy. There are also growing instances of self-employment and hence the question of inferiority and superiority does not arise. Finally greater liberalisation in trade policy followed by superior infrastructure for global connectivity is essential to invite further investment and enhance our international image.
C Gopinath Nair, Kochi
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