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`Indian economy on take-off stage with demographic bonus'

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Mr Albert Bressand (left), Vice-President, Global Business Environment, Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, with Mr Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman, Shell Companies, India, in the Capital on Tuesday. - Kamal Narang
Mr Albert Bressand (left), Vice-President, Global Business Environment, Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, with Mr Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman, Shell Companies, India, in the Capital on Tuesday. - Kamal Narang

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 6

PRESENTING a bullish picture of the Indian economy, the Vice-President, Global Business Environment, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Albert Bressand, said India was on a take-off stage, as China was a decade ago.

"India is no longer on the pitch with weaker nations. It is playing at the centre and shaping global developments. India is one of the pillars of well-functioning systems," he said. "India would enjoy demographic advantage over Europe, China and Japan, which would have a large ageing population. India would have a demographic bonus with an increasing population in 20-year-plus age bracket," he added.

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The global scenario: The Shell Global Scenario highlights three different ways in which market incentives, the quest for security, and aspirations for social justice and cohesion could interact in next two decades, Mr Bressand said, adding that "the future energy scene will be heavily influenced by these different combinations of market, geopolitical and social forces."

Energy security: On energy security, the Shell Global Scenario said that it would remain a key consideration, potentially leading to more politicised energy relations and creating sources of tensions among countries and opportunities for entrepreneurship and co-operation.

Ambiguity would persist as to what the term `energy security' covers: physical supplies could be threatened by rising international insecurity and by depletion of supply sources. Insecurity can also result from the lack of investment in enhanced recovering of existing resources, in new energy sources and/or in infrastructure, he said.

The Shell Global Scenario also touches upon three contrasted approaches for energy security in low trust globalisation, in open doors and in flags. In low trust globalisation, energy security is achieved through proactive policies seeking to diversify supply and to reduce vulnerability to external shocks.

In open doors, the essential trade off in energy policies is between fostering the provision of sufficient energy at affordable prices to end-users, and working towards the clean and safe environment that global and local communities tend to support. Energy security in flags might be seen as less of a problem in light of the lower growth in demand, it said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 7, 2005)
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