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East-West Center: India's emerging role in region, world

by Susan Kreifles, adjunct journalism instructor

NEW DELHI (Feb. 26) - India’s emerging role in the south central Asia and the world, and its relationship with Asia’s other giant—China—dominated an East-West Center forum this week in New Delhi. Central themes included India’s economic growth, its need for further reforms, and its future.

The Third Asia Pacific Executive Forum, “India in a Global and Regional Context,” gathered business executives, government policymakers, and academics to discuss India’s economy, policies, and future role.

Co-organized by the East-West Center and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Feb. 22-24 conference was the first of the East-West Center’s Asia Pacific Executive Forums to focus on a single country. The many speakers included:




· Che Abdul Daim Zainuddin, member of Malaysia’s parliament and former finance minister;

· Kishor Chaukar, managing director of Tata Industries;

· R.M. Abhyankar, secretary of India’s Ministry of External Affairs; Vikram Singh Mehta, chief executive of the Shell Group of Companies in India;

· Vijay Kelkar, adviser to India’s minister of finance;

· Edward Luce, South Asia Bureau Chief, Financial Times;

· Michael Clark, executive director of the U.S.-India Business Council;

· N. Kumar, vice chairman, The Sanmar Group;

· Clyde Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute;

· S.N. Menon, special secretary, India’s Ministry of Commerce;

· Hiroshi Hirabayashi, Japanese ambassador to France;

· Narongchai Akrasanee, former minister of commerce in Thailand and chairman of Seranee Holdings Ltd.;

· Thomas Foley, former speaker, U.S. House of Representatives; former U.S. ambassador to Japan; and

· Anand Mahindra, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry and managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

East-West Center speakers were:

· Charles E. Morrison, president;

· Muthiah Alagappa, director of East-West Center Washington;

· Fereidun Fesharaki, the East-West Center’s oil and energy specialist; and

· Tianshu Chu, the Center’s specialist on the China economy.

Titles of all forum discussions are listed below and summaries can be found at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Web site: Hit “News” at the top of the left-hand column.

1. India committed to rule-based trading system /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=224200421519PM

2. India, China share strengths and weaknesses /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=224200422052PM

3. ASEAN and India move closer on pragmatic policies: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=224200451450PM

4. Steel package a welcome development: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=225200492239AM

5. “No dark cloud in Indo-US relation”: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=225200492717AM

6. Indian steel alliance chairman welcomes steel package: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=225200493209AM

7. CII survey reveals optimistic exports scenario: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=223200424637PM

8. India calls for preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=223200425606PM

9. Shell Group CEO calls for a strong independent oil industry regulator:

10. Network industry will drive Indian Economy: Kelkar /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=223200452521PM

11. Off-shoring is a result of U.S. restructuring:: /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=224200493149AM

12. Indian manufacturing can fly: Tun Daim Zainuddin /news/newsMain.asp?news_id=223200491033AM

For more information contact Susan Kreifels at


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