India will likely be among the top three economies in the world in the next 25 years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday, adding that the country had shown an ability to grow during adversity.

“India has moved from the seventh largest to the fifth largest economy,” Mr. Jaitley said, while delivering the valedictory speech at the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet.

“Unquestionably, in the period of 25 years, India would perhaps be one of the three largest economies in the world. And India has already demonstrated its capacity to grow during adversity.”

“The Prime Minister, in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said that one of the three global challenges is that the world has started increasingly looking inwards, and that’s where the Prime Minister pointed out that India stands out as an exception,” Mr. Jaitley said. “The confidence of the new India is that it is getting more globally integrated and this opening out in terms of trade and investment has certainly brought not only additional resources but significantly improved upon India’s competitive strengths.”

New aspirational world

The Finance Minister said countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia were now significantly picking up and opening up to investment.

“Therefore, India and the ASEAN represents the aspirational world,” Mr. Jaitley said.

“This aspirational world houses two billion people and trade has the capacity to give a necessary impetus to the economy.”

“Our mutual experience has been that more opening up means more investment, and more investment creates more economic activity, more jobs, more prosperity,” he said.

“Having benefited of the last few decades, it is obvious that in the next two-and-a-half decades this very sizeable part of the global population which had conventionally lagged behind, which is today aspirational and has demonstrated a capacity to reform even as rest of the world was looking inwards, I am sure will be able to expand its mutual trade.”

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