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A Note of Caution with Sadanand Dhume

L-R: Jayant Sinha, Managing Director, Omidyar Network India Advisors, Bunty Chand, Executive Director, Asia Society India Centre, Punita Sinha, Founder and Managing Partner of Pacific Paradigm Advisors and Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Instititute
by Radha Venkatraman
29 October 2013

MUMBAI, October 29, 2013 — With uncertainty rising around the Indian economy’s current trajectory, questions continue to be raised concerning the country’s prospects for long-term growth. It is not yet clear how India’s current state of affairs will affect the potential of its bilateral relationship with the U.S. Additionally, the upcoming 2014 elections pose more fundamental questions about what the future has in store for India and its future attempts at development. To offer a critical perspective on the country’s rapidly shifting political and economic landscape, Asia Society India Centre hosted a private roundtable discussion as part of its BASIC (Breakfast at Asia Society India Centre) series with Sadanand Dhume.

Dhume, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Instititute (Washington, DC) who writes frequently about South Asian political economy, foreign policy, business and society, shared his thoughts on a number of challenges that India faces today. In particular, Dhume discussed the country’s current economic slowdown and the implications that it may have on its’ broader relationship with the U.S., in light of his new report “Falling Short: How Bad Economic Choices Threaten the US-India Relationship and India's Rise."

Dhume focused on the dangers associated with a slowing of India’s rate of growth, both along the lines of threatening the country’s internal development efforts, and deterring future prospects for foreign investment. He touched on a number of causal factors associated with the country’s current economic rough patch including an increasingly stifling regulation environment, systemic issues of corruption, and a lack of political imagination. Focusing particularly on the challenges and opportunities that will be associated with the country’s upcoming election season, Dhume predicted that recently enjoyed close ties with the US could wither if India’s leaders fail to provide a working model of how to get the economy back on the world’s radar.

Reported by Uditinder Singh Thakur, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre.