Free Press Journal

Comparing India, China growth rates futile


Beijing: India and China have specific circumstances with different national strengths, and comparison by the West of their future growth rates to prove that the political system of one is superior to the other does not make any sense, says a Chinese media report.

The IMF recently predicted that India was expected to grow at 6.5 percent in 2016 to overtake China’s projected growth rate of 6.3 percent. India was also expected to keep this leading position for quite a long time.

An opinion piece in the Global Times stated that some “thrilled” Western scholars used the prediction to claim that India’s “democratic system” gives more spur to development and innovation than China’s “authoritarian system”.

The daily, however, pointed out that those who made such claims took into account only the political systems followed by the two Asian economies to analyse their economic growth, and chose to ignore their ethnic culture.

Thus, it is impossible for them to get a thorough understanding of the change of the two nations’ growth rate, it said.

“If a country could upgrade its innovational ability only by having a similar system to the Western countries, there wouldn’t be such an enormous gap between Germany and Greece, and countries in the eurozone wouldn’t have the headaches that are troubling them these days.”

The reason, the report added, why China kept a faster growth rate than India in the past three decades was that “Chinese stuck to the fine traditions such as hard work”.

It cited an observation made by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who warned that poverty might be getting deified in India, while “the desire to be rich has been whetted among thousands of people in China after the country adopted the reform and opening-up policy”.

The huge difference between India and China in their contribution to the global industrial chain was also cited to stress that the comparison of their economic growth rates was futile.

“India can stress that its system has provided good conditions for its innovation and development. But more significant factors to promote development lie in whether a country could improve its status and raise its share in the global industrial chain.”

The report suggested that it was impossible to develop large-scale sophisticated projects on a weak infrastructural foundation.

“The foundations of innovation require not only a system, but also industries, talent and the drive to pursue higher profit,” it said.

It went on to say that the focus of both and India and China should be on enhancing cooperation and finding ways to complement each other economically.

“China’s development experience shows that once the growth rate of a big developing country with a large population, a wide range of industries and a solid foundation of development starts accelerating, it is bound to create more opportunities for its neighbours and the world to share its economic achievements.

“The rule also applies to India. India’s accelerating economic growth depends on its open trading system and vice versa. Only by sharing profits with neighbouring countries, including China, can India sustain its economic growth rate. After all, under the background of globalisation, no one can notch up rapid development with a closed door anymore.”

The report said that if India could leverage China’s dominant position in the manufacturing industry, with its own labour cost advantages, it could create more jobs and raise the role of manufacturing in its own economy.