Indian ambassador proud of reform successes

India’s economic reforms launched six years ago have made smooth progress and are producing satisfactory results despite a few changes of government in the past year, new Indian Ambassador Siddharth Singh said June 4.

Economic reform is a national program supported by all parties, and the government of Inder Kumar Gujral, who assumed power in April, continues the established policy line, Singh told The Japan Times.

The program has opened up numerous business opportunities and evoked the renewed interest of foreign investors, including major Japanese businesses such as Toyota Motor, the ambassador explained. India’s reinvigorated economy has been growing about 7 percent a year, aided by increased foreign investment, lower inflation, increased exports and a comfortable foreign-exchange position, according to the envoy. Its agricultural sector is also in good shape, he added.

Discussing its foreign policy, Singh said relations between India and Pakistan have improved, adding that the new prime ministers of the two countries had good talks on the occasion of the summit of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation last month. They agreed to discuss all bilateral issues, release each other’s civilian prisoners and establish a hot line, he said.