China or India – Or China AND India?
There is an economic miracle of sorts taking place in today’s global economy, and it is coming as no shock to the people who have been watching the global picture develop these last ten years. However unsurprising it is in general, there will be people who, although they knew it was coming, may not have expected to see it happen in their lifetime. The economic miracle is taking place in Asia. That may not be terribly specific, given the size of the continent itself (the world’s largest continent), so to specify: Where the miracle is really happening is in two particular countries: China and India.
There was always the potential for this to happen, given the raw data that is available to anyone. China and India are two of the world’s largest countries by size, and easily the two largest by population with almost 40% of the world’s people living between them. This mix of landmass and population combined with the resultant ability to call on raw materials gives both China and India the opportunity to maximize any opportunity and become global powerhouses. But this dimensional magnitude has in both cases been both a blessing and a curse. The spread of both countries, allied to China’s historic insularity and India’s numerous dividing factors, has held both back from becoming quite as successful as they might have hoped.
As the 21st century really gets going, with its first decade almost inked into the history books, both China and India look ready to make their big impact on the world’s economy. Both countries are expected to have a big century, and by the middle of this one will, on any reading of the situation, have economies which outstrip the current largest in the world, that of America. China will get there first – by 2030 on a conservative estimate, followed by India within the next 20 years. Will America and others be able to catch up in the mean time and overturn the predictions? It’s hard to say, but the economy does sometimes throw up unexpected situations.
Another question which might arise is that of whether competition between India and China will be a stalling factor in either country’s growth. This is not expected to be the case, as the economic strengths of both countries complement each other quite well, and may in fact enable mutual growth in countries which are showing greater expansion in their economies than any other major nation.
China is endlessly improving on a mass-manufacturing front, and expanding its range of industrial plants in order to cement its role as a world leader in that respect. India is marking its territory as a master of precision manufacturing and software innovation. The two working together will be able to supply the world with much of what it wants without stepping on each other’s toes. It is impressive to see how quickly both have developed, and interesting to wait and see what is next from these two future superpowers.