India and China are the world’s fastest growing economies. The multinationals of the developing world are challenging the dominance of Western firms. China’s oil companies and mining firms are spreading throughout the developing world, while India’s hi-tech firms are more than a match for many in the developed world. The world’s tallest buildings, largest airports, fastest trains, and biggest dams are now all to be found in the developing world.
Despite the rapid growth of the emerging economies, however, all reasonable projections point to a continued gap for decades to come between the West and the rest. China and India may soon become the world’s largest economies, but it is not certain they will ever be the richest. Does this matter? ‘Good enough’ technology such as Tata’s Nano, only a tenth the price of a Mercedes Smart Car, may allow people to enjoy some of the benefits of development without having to catch up in dollar terms. Similarly, the rapid adoption of mobile telephony seems to have bypassed the need for landlines. But without roads, an electricity grid and the provision of water and sewage systems to the majority of the population, how developed can a country really become?
Can the emerging economies jump a stage in development to become fully modern, or is their growth limited to dynamic pockets that lack the economic might to transform whole countries?
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economist and business manager; author, Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance
director, Corporate Affairs & Communications at SABMiller, India
|Professor Adrian Wood
professor of international development, University of Oxford; former Chief Economist of the UK’s Department for International Development.
|Dr Xiaolan Fu
director, Sanjaya Lall Programme for Technology and Management for Development and Fellow of Green-Templeton College, Oxford University; senior research associate, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
director, British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)
China this year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the economic reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping and there are plenty of reasons to think the country could enjoy another 30 years of high growth.Geoff Dyer, Financial Times, 22 October 2008
India's determination to win the space race will help them solve their real economic challengesStuart Simpson, The Times, 13 October 2008
The economic miracle has been halted in its tracksMichael Sheridan, The Times, 12 October 2008
Kris Gopalakrishnan, boss of Infosys, thought he had the British IT firm Axon in the bag — then an Indian rival outbid him. Is the East now carving up the West?Andrew Davidson, The Sunday Times, 5 October 2008
Having won a vote of confidence at home, India’s government now faces another—abroadEconomist, 31 July 2008
Democracy will ensure that the tortoise overcomes the hare in the race for competitive advantageWilliam Nobrega, Independent, 27 July 2008
It’s the end of the era of the white man.Roger Cohen, New York Times, 31 March 2008
Wal–Mart, GE, and Microsoft have all opened major operations in India, while Shell and General Motors have invested in about 3,000 new factories on the subcontinent. Why are these titanic companies pouring funds into a country known for its slow economic growth? Because today there is a new India.
William Nobrega & Ashish Sinha, John Wiley & Sons, 8 February 2008
In a little-noticed mid-summer announcement, the Asian Development Bank presented official survey results indicating China's economy is smaller and poorer than established estimates say.Albert Keidel, Financial Times, 14 November 2007
China is no longer a totalitarian state. The regime no longer seeks to control every aspect of life or way of thinking.John Lee, The Australian, 20 October 2007
Two or three years ago I was talking to some business people when the conversation became animated. “What,” somebody said, “about China and India?” There was a nodding of heads, and a view emerged that was pessimistic, even fatalistic.David Smith, ECONOMICSUK.COM, 29 April 2007
Over the next 50 years, Brazil, Russia, India and China—the BRICs economies—could become a much larger force in the world economy.Dominic Wilson and Roopa Purushothaman, Goldman Sachs, 1 October 2003