Wednesday, July 20, 2005

India Shines in Washington

Prime Minister of India

In sunny and warm Washington, these are the days dominated by the visit of the Prime Minister of India Mr Manmohan Singh.

It's undoubtedly an important visit. The world's most powerful country and what shortly will be the world's most popolous country. And they are both well-functioning democracies governed by the rule of the law and committed to an increasingly open global economy.

Mr Singh was given the honour of addressing a Joint Session of Congress, and I have linked to his speech, which gives a flavour of how modern India approaches the modern world.

He rightly stressed the success of India's policy of liberalizing its economy:

"The economic policy changes that have been made in India have far-reaching implications. They have liberated Indian enterprise from government control and made the economy much more open to global flows of trade, capital and technology. Our entrepreneurial talent has been unleashed, and is encouraged to compete with the best. We will continue this process so that Indian talent and enterprise can realize its full potential, enabling India to participate in the global economy as an equal partner."

That's important. But what gets the immediate headline is the US offer to India of technology for the nuclear power production, lifting existing sanctions in that area. India needs the power for its future economic development.

Thus, the US accepts India as a nuclear weapons power, and stands ready to help it use also the possibilities of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

An axis of democracies is being formed between North America and South Asia. Europe take note.