Washington: Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao has asked American students to be alert to the "stifling effects" of protectionism as it hinders economic growth and development in the age of globalisation.
"Borders between nations are becoming increasingly porous, and in time, they will be increasingly irrelevant, as people are allowed to move freely to transact trade and commerce, and to travel without hindrance," she said delivering the commencement address at University of Florida, Gainesville, Friday.
"Protectionism in such a situation becomes a hindrance to economic growth and development because it seeks to cap the flow of people, of goods and services, of ideas and technologies. It builds walls and is thus retrogressive," Rao said.
"We must be alert to its stifling effects," she said noting, "Globalisation integrates the world today in many ways. But it has also unleashed its discontents."
Asking the students to use their education to "make the world a better place," she hoped they would become the "builders of an even better and high yielding partnership between our two democracies, India and the United States."
"Just as we see many Indian students coming to study in universities in this country, I hope I see many more young Americans drawn to India and the study of India in a serious and comprehensive way," Rao said.
More than 1100 Indian students are currently enrolled at the University of Florida.
"Through its linkages and partnership with several Indian academic institutions, the University is performing yeoman service in the promotion of greater understanding between the Indian and American peoples," Rao said.
Recently, a University of Florida-led research team has been selected to participate in a five-year, USD 125 million project on the development of clean energy technologies involving research institutions, universities and industry from India and the United States, she noted.