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May 19, 2009

India: Economy, Democracy, Geopolitics

Professor Deepak Lal, Professor James S. Coleman

By kind invitation of Barry Gardiner MP, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to be able to host a discussion of India: Economy, Democracy, Geopolitics by renowned economist and public policy intellectual Professor Deepak Lal, James S.  Coleman Professor of International Development Studies at UCLA. As the world’s largest democracy, India is beginning to play an increasingly important role in global politics. The recent accord between the US and India over civilian nuclear deals has opened up the Indian economy to foreign investment from Russia and America. India has also become a growing exporter of software specialists and software services, and despite the recession, it has been predicted that these sectors will continue to grow by 5% this year. Trade in business and professional and technical services accounts for a quarter of exports. These sectors are weathering the storm better than commodity export and may help pull India through the crisis. But with an economy still grounded in services and agriculture, tariff spikes and slow economic reform, India still struggles to attract foreign investment. The discussion touched on the above issues and  included the Indian economy, the relationship between democracy and economic growth and the question of Kashmir and terrorism.