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Growth of Indian middle class good for US economy: Kerry

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First published: February 21, 2013, 12:35 AM IST | Updated: February 21, 2013
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Growth of Indian middle class good for US economy: Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry said one of America's most incredible realities continues to be that it is a country without any permanent enemies.

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said that emerging middle class in countries like India means more jobs and income for America while making his first major foreign policy speech as the top US diplomat.

"As the emerging middle class in India, the world's largest democracy, buys our products, that means jobs and income for our own middle class," Kerry said while indicating that trade and economy would be the mantra of his brand of diplomacy in the age of tough economic conditions.

Kerry choose the University of Virginia, which was established by the first US Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, to deliver his first major speech, before he embarks on a nine-nation, 11-day tour to Europe and the Middle East.

He added that a wise investment in foreign policy can yield for a nation the same return education can yield for a student. Kerry said one of America's most incredible realities continues to be that it is a country without any permanent enemies.

"The price of abandoning our global efforts would be exorbitant and the vacuum we would leave by retreating within ourselves will quickly be filled by those whose interests differ dramatically from our own," Kerry said.

"We have learned that lesson in the deserts of Mali, the mountains of Afghanistan, and the tribal areas of Pakistan," he said.

"The American people understand this. Our businesses understand this. It's simple: the more they sell abroad, the more they hire at home. And since 95 per cent of the world's customers live outside our country, we cannot hamstring our own ability to compete in those markets," Kerry argued

He then went on to list how American diplomatic missions abroad are working hard to get businesses for US companies and thus create jobs in the US.

The new Secretary of State emphasised on the need for continued US investment in other parts of the world, or otherwise he cautioned the vacuum might be filled up by China.

"Seven of the 10 fastest growing countries are on the African continent and China, understanding that, is already investing more than we do there. Developing economies are the epicenters of growth, and they are open for business," he said.

Kerry reiterated that human rights, democracy, health and nutrition in poor countries, education and climate change would continue to be his priorities as the top American diplomat.

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