US, China and Emergence of India

Every time I have come to US, I found it getting more and more dependent on China. Most of the things in American household have Chinese level. Every doll that you see with kids is from China. Even medical aids and accessories such as massagers though of American design are those manufactured in China.

While buying the books for Puchchu’s collection such as the selected titles from Amar Chitra Katha and Mahabharata in comic form, I could not control my temptation to buy Raghav Bahl’s recently published book, ‘Superpower? The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise’. Raghav has really done good job. He is lucid, informative and forthright too. I don’t know why the government and the administration don’t take corrective action even when specific flaws are identified about which there can’t be any controversy. I have hardly found a book so well written. I wish the book is made a must reading for the officers who matter in the task of development of the country and even if India considers China not a competition but a benchmark.

In 2008, when I was here Anand had ordered a book by Robyn Meredith ‘The Elephant and The Dragon– the rise of India and china and what It Means for All of Us’ on my request with Amazon. It was waiting for me. I went through the same too after completing Bahl’s book. The data are older. China has moved ahead to become the second largest economy of the world. But her suggestions for US are still very prudent.

I have found a major change in views of the writers in America about China and India since 2005 when I came to US for a longer stay for the first time. Book shops and magazines in 2005 were full with China-related volumes. Over the period, India has emerged as an important economic power attracting authors of books and articles to write about it.

The Economist’s September 30 issue has a cover page with India represented by a tiger and some revealing articles.
A bumpier but freer road: Despite all the mess and chaos of India, the country’s business is booming.

Chetan Ahya and Tanvee Gupta of Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, predict that India’s growth will start to outpace China’s within three to five years. China will rumble along at 8% rather than double digits; India will rack up successive years of 9-10%. For the next 20-25 years, India will grow faster than any other large country, they expect. Other long-range forecasters paint a similar picture.

Previous Asian booms have been powered by a surge in the working-age population. Now it is India’s turn. The proportion of Indians aged under 15 or over 64 has declined from 69% in 1995 to 56% this year, says the UN. India’s working-age population will increase by 136m by 2020; China’s will grow by a mere 23m.

China’s growth has been largely state-directed. India’s, by contrast, is driven by 45m entrepreneurs.

In Dharavi, a Mumbai slum with perhaps 1m inhabitants has also Bhaskar Chaudhary’s tiny factory that works day and night turning out back pockets, which are whisked to a bigger factory, sewn onto jeans and exported to the Gulf.

India’s surprising economic miracle:The country’s state may be weak, but its private companies are strong.

India’s individualistic brand of capitalism may also be more robust than China’s state-directed sort. Chinese firms prosper under wise government, but bad rulers can cause far more damage in China than in India, because their powers are so much greater. If, God forbid, another Mao were to seize the reins, there would be no mechanism for getting rid of him.

Given the choice between doing business in China or India, most foreign investors would probably pick China. The market is bigger, the government easier to deal with, and if your supply chain for manufactured goods does not pass through China your shareholders will demand to know why. But as the global economy becomes more knowledge-intensive, India’s advantage will grow.”

The Economist had published an interesting article ‘Contest of the century‘ a month ago: As China and India rise in tandem, their relationship will shape world politics.

Every now and then one comes across the news report of the rising India. ‘India will replace the US as the world’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) market in the next six months.’ It gives hope. All the media mess on CWG didn’t deter the nations around the world. Not one of the 54 participating countries and 71 teams has backed out of the Games.

India has simply become too important a player in the world economy.

And the gala opening of CWG have proven every one wrong. Yes certainly, I wished India to repeat or improve the eerie precision of the Beijing Olympics, and the glitz of South Africa’s World Cup instead of the patented chaos of India. But there is nothing wrong to hope. So did on Thursday, Delhi’s lieutenant governor, Tejendra Khanna, when he said, “Many foreign delegates during their visit were so impressed with our facility that they have told me that we should bid for the Olympics now.”

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