New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday refuted US President Joe Biden's "xenophobia" remark and argued that India's economic growth is at 7 per cent which is higher than many other countries.

Jaishankar reiterated that India is the most open, pluralistic and diverse society not "Xenophobic".

"We are the most open society, till date I have never seen such an open society, such a pluralistic society, such a diverse society, so I would say that we are actually not just not xenophobic, we are the most open, most pluralistic and in many ways, the most understanding society in the world," EAM Jaishankar said while interacting with professionals in Bhubaneswar on "Why Bharat Matters".

"Secondly, there was some talk about economic performance, you know our GDP is at 7 per cent. You check other people's GDP, check the growth rate and you will get the answer," he added.

On April 2, Biden said the "xenophobic" nature of India, China, Japan and Russia is responsible for their economic troubles and argued that America's economy is growing because it welcomes immigrants to its soil. He made the statement while campaigning for his re-election at a Washington fundraising event and argued that Japan, along with Russia and China, would perform better economically if the countries embraced immigration more.

Earlier, speaking to the Economic Times, Jaishankar refuted the allegation that the Indian economy was faltering. The Union Minister said that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government showcases India's welcoming approach.

Jaishankar said in the interview published on Saturday, "First of all, our economy is not faltering."

The Indian economy is set to achieve nearly 7 per cent growth in the financial year 2024-25, according to a report released by the Ministry of Finance. The report attributes this positive outlook to the robust domestic demand that has propelled the country to a growth rate exceeding 7 per cent over the past three years.

India can aspire to become a USD 7 trillion economy in the next six to seven years, the Ministry of Finance said in its monthly review report in January. At present, the Indian economy is estimated to be about USD 3.7 trillion.

Earlier in April, Krishnamurthy V Subramaniam, the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that India will continue to be a driver for global growth in the foreseeable future.

In an interview with ANI, he noted that India, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, has witnessed consistent growth at 7 per cent plus. He predicted that India will have 8 per cent growth in the fourth quarter and called it "good" growth considering the current global economic situation.

Refuting allegations of President Biden describing India as "xenophobic," Jaishankar emphasised that the country has been open and welcoming to people from diverse societies.

"India is always... India has been a very unique country... I would say actually, in the history of the world, that it's been a society which has been very open... different people from different societies come to India," he said.

Jaishankar stated that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government showcases India's welcoming approach.

He said, "That's why we have the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), which is to open up doors for people who are in trouble... I think we should be open to people who need to come to India, who have a claim to come to India."

Meanwhile, hours after Biden termed India, Japan and other nations, "xenophobic," the White House clarified the President's intentions, emphasising his "respect" for allies and partners.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre asserted that the President's comments were part of a broader message emphasising the strength derived from America's immigrant heritage. She stressed that Biden's focus remains on bolstering diplomatic relationships with nations such as India and Japan, evident in his actions over the past three years.

"Obviously, we have a strong relationship with, India with Japan, and the President if you just look at the last three years has certainly focused on those diplomatic relationships," she said.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed