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The Hague, Nov. 8 (NNN): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday night assured foreign investors of continuity in country’s economic policies and asserted that India will never become an "international liability".
The Prime Minister also asserted that there was no question of going back on the economic reforms initiated 13 years ago by the then Congress government.

Speaking to a gathering of Indian community at a reception hosted in his honour by the Indian Ambassador Shymala Cowsik late last night, Singh said: "There have been three or four general elections but the broad direction of the governments have been the same. There has been, there is and there will be considerable continuity in the economic policies."

Singh said the target of 6 to 8 per cent annual economic growth was an ambition that could not "be called unattainable but eminently achievable".

However, he said, for this the country need a lot more investment and India "will never become an international liability".

"We will take hard decisions that will make India a great power. It will be taken domestically. I see a increasing role for the Indian community and for overseas community to tap the tremendous opportunities availbale in the country," he said outlining agro-processing, manufacturing, services and pharmaceuticals as the sectors having the potential.

Recalling the strengths of India as an ancient civilisation and the fact that Indians had migrated to various parts of the globe centuries ago, Singh said the country was today one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

"It is not the end of the world. It is a new beginning of the journey we began in 1994. We have covered many milestones. It will take sometime for us to soften the rough edges of poverty that large numbers of our people live in. We will overcome. We shall prevail," he said.

The Prime Minister said the relationship between India and the people of Indian origin in other parts of the world was "just not commercial or economic alone but emotional which we must preserve and develop."

"We will create enough climate for you whether you come to India as traders, investors or simply as tourists," he said.

In recent years India has emerged as a major centre for knowledge industry and it would help anyone who wanted to take benefit of the IT institutions.

"When I go to Silicon valley I say whatever has happened there should be made possible in India. It is possible to reproduce it in India," the Prime Minister said.

Noting that people from outside still felt disappointed about certain things in India, Singh said "we will make it very very investor friendly. There will be a new process in our country for investment."

Earlier responding to the Left's criticism of his congratulatory call to US President George W. Bush by saying India must recognise international realities.

Speaking to reporters aboard a special aircraft on his way to the Hague, where he is attending the 5th Indo-EU Summit, the Prime Minister broadly outlined his agenda for the trip and spoke of the need for strengthening India's relations with the United States.

"We have to recognise that the US is superpower and it plays a crucial role in the global economy. We have to take stock of the ground realities," said Singh.

"In the final analysis, international relations are power relations. We are living in the world of unequal powers," he added.

The Prime Minister also said that he had congratulated George Bush on his re-election to the White House and had reminded him of his promise to visit India.

Singh also acknowledged the need for intense engagement with the newly enlarged 25-country European Union (EU).

The Prime Minister's three-day visit to the Hague will involve talks with the European Union on economic and trade issues, followed by a visit to the Netherlands.

He is also expected to pursue India's campaign for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council with the European Union and the Netherlands.

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