Superpower?: The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise

Superpower?: The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise

Raghav Bahl

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1591843960

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Is India ready for superpower status or too far behind China to ever catch up?

In his career as one of India's leading journalists and entrepreneurs, Raghav Bahl has often faced this question, and many others, from bewildered visitors:
* Why are Indian regulations so weak and confusing?
* Why is your foreign investment policy so restrictive?
* How come your hotels are world class, but the roads leading to them are so potholed?
* Why don't you lower your voice when you make fun of your politicians?
* Why do you control the price of oil and cable TV?

Clearly there's a huge difference in how India and its arch-rival China work on the ground. China is spectacularly effective in building infrastructure and is now reinvesting almost half its GDP. Meanwhile, India is still a "promising" economy: more than half its GDP is consumed by its billion-plus people, yet India has some unique advantages: Half its population is under twenty-five, giving it a strong demographic edge; 350 million Indians understand English, making it the largest English-speaking country in the world; and it's the world's largest democracy.

In the race to superpower status, who is more likely to win: China's hare or India's tortoise? Bahl argues that the winner might not be determined by who is investing more and growing faster today but by something more intangible: who has superior innovative skills and more entrepreneurial savvy.

He notes that China and India were both quick to recover from the financial crisis, but China's rebound was accompanied by huge debt and deflation, with weak demand. India's turnaround was sturdier, with lower debt and modest inflation. So India's GDP grew twice as fast as China's for a few quarters-the first time that had happened in nearly three decades. And in contrast to China's Yuan, which is pummeled for being artificially undervalued, India's rupee largely floats against world currencies. In the end, it might come down to one deciding factor: can India fix its governance before China repairs its politics?

With insights into the two countries' histories, politics, economies and cultures, this is a well-written, fully documented, comprehensive account of the race to become the next global superpower. For anyone looking to understand China, India and the future of the world economy, this is the book to read.

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G20 and G77. The foreign ministers of BRICs met for a political summit at Yekaterinburg in Russia, the city in which Tsar Nicholas II was executed. They promptly crafted an agenda to ‘promote energy and food security, fight terrorism and reform global political and financial bodies’. The ministers were fully aware of their eco-political weight. China and India are the two fastest growing economies. Russia is the world’s second largest oil producer, while China is the second biggest consumer.

buzzing. Rural-to-rural migration is as strong as rural-to-urban movements, rural industry is growing faster than its urban counterpart, and rural tax payments are increasing rapidly. More encouragingly, Indian consumers and entrepreneurs are managing to buy and grow at much higher interest rates than in China, which simply means that every rupee spent or invested in India is generating a far higher return than a yuan in China. On top of this, India’s consumption-to-GDP ratio, at over 55 per

power points of a twenty-first century globe? Will the world be scythed by the axis alignments of the twentieth century—a somewhat predictable US-Japan-India ‘axis’ to ‘contain’ China—or will a new geo-political axiom emerge to supplant the axis politics of the Cold War era? Will America, China and India have the good sense to create a benign matrix of (competitive) alignments, as against the rattling sabres of the axis years? After all, isn’t China just a rival, not an adversary, of the US?

parent of a single child had remarried, or a biological child became possible after an adoption and a long period of infertility. Some stringency was later relaxed, when a rural family was allowed to have a second child if the first one was a daughter. Local governments pitched in with free contraceptives, medical consultations and abortions. Officials were given attractive cash and career incentives to meet targeted birth rates in their areas. One estimate suggests that 300 million potential

change. Contracts have been awarded for projects worth $22 billion in water supply, sewerage, roads, metro rail, garbage disposal, house construction and public bus services. Perhaps India’s planners need to take a few lessons, if not from ‘adversarial’ Shanghai, then certainly from the exceptional story of Jamshedpur. More than a hundred years ago, Tata Steel acquired a lease on this 64 sq. km industrial township. Today, drinking water is available for longer in Jamshedpur than pretty much

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