Monday, February 05, 2007

India: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Today, Indian economy has slowly started getting a respectable position globally. Her GDP growth has now become, what many economists believe, sustainable at 8-10% and in the process the past low growth @5-6% has been buried. Indian MNCs are out for acquisitions abroad and the latest Tatas-Corus deal - the biggest in size by any Indian company involving $12 billion has proved beyond doubt that India has truly become a global player.
How was it yesterday?

"On the eve of industrial revolution (around 1770), India was the second largest economy in the world, contributing more than 20% of total world output. By the 1970s, after two centuries of relative economic stagnation, that share had fallen to 3% - the lowest in its recorded history. From a long-term perspective, the post-industrial economic decline of India (and China) is a historical aberration, driven to some extent by a lack of openness. After independence in 1947, India followed inward-looking and state-intervenist policies that shackled the economy through regulations and severely restricted trade and economic freedom. The result was decades of low growth termed pejoratively the 'Hindu rate of growth'. Reforms beginning in 1991 gradually removed obstacles to economic freedom, and India has begun to play catch-up, steadily reintegrating into the global economy."

So says a report titled 'A game of Catch-up' appearing in Times of India (having its source Golden Sachs' Global Economic Paper no 152).

About tomorrow, I have already reproduced the forecast made, again, by Golden Sachs in my post 'Do you believe India's economy will be the second largest by 2050?' accompanied by my wish-list. The lesson for Indians out of the vicissitudes in last three centuries is "You must run faster to stay where you are".
Is it not?

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