“What Great Britain achieved in 150 years, India’s managed in just 30,” is how Nobel laureate Paul Krugman on Saturday expressed his view about “Rising India, the view from afar’ at a Rising India Summit in Delhi.
“The progress is extraordinary. This is a very big country, which people at some level have not fully noticed. It has overtaken Japan and is only behind US and China, and is far ahead of any European country. This is a super power,” said Krugman.
Speaking at the summit organised by News18 about India’s strengths and why he was optimistic about the country, Krugman said, “India does have a lot of smart people. There is clearly a cultural reservoir of creativity and entrepreneurship. The widespread fluency of English is important. It matters a lot how many people of working age you have. Japan could not become an economic superpower because of demography. China is starting to look like that. Its working age population has peaked and will go down. It cannot continue to grow at the pace it did. India’s working age population is projected to grow substantially and surpass China in a few years.”
However, the economist raised concerns about the limit of India’s successes. It’s not hard to see that India needs institutional progress. India is potentially susceptible to this middle income track,” he said.
Touching upon the rising protectionism in global trade, he cautioned, “This open world trading system in now a threat. Populism is on the rise globally, and there is a backlash against the global system.”
High lighting India distinct role in global trade, Krugman said, “globalisation of service trade is perhaps the future. India has the first mover advantage here.”
On China the economist said, “China is moving backwards to strong man rule. It is a financial crisis waiting to happen. He added, “China is sustaining itself with a credit bubble that is waiting to burst, however long that takes.”