India and the Global Economy

Lawrence Summers (R) speaks with Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Kotak Mahindra Group, in Mumbai on Oct. 15, 2010. (Asia Society India Centre)

MUMBAI, October 15, 2010 - Director of the White House National Economic Council Lawrence Summers offered an optimistic take on Indian-US relations and contemplated the emergence of a a "Mumbai Consensus," which he characterized as a "people-centered emphasis on growing levels of consumption and a widening middle class."

The White House official offered his views during a talk here on "India and the Global Economy," jointly sponsored by the Asia Society India Centre and the United States Consulate in Mumbai, and supported by Kotak.

Summers shared his thoughts on how India's economy may grow, the challenges it will face, and the potential for cooperation between India and the US in areas such as clean energy. His allusion to the "Mumbai consensus" came as he acknowledged changing world dynamics that have already begun to upend traditional hierarchies.

Summers's optimistic account highlighted the extensive common ground between India and the US, on which (presumably) a sustainable and positive relationship should be able to thrive. His appearance also set the stage for President Obama's upcoming visit to India in November, while reminding listeners that ties between countries are not supported solely by interactions between governments. Instead, those relationships are also sustained by interactions between people from different countries in their everyday lives in schools, offices, and other institutions.