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India projected to be fastest growing economy in next 10 years

business Updated: Dec 22, 2015 12:42 IST
Indian economy

Advance estimates for 2014-15 released in February projected India’s GDP during the year to grow at 7.4%, making it the world’s fastest growing economy surpassing China. (AFP File Photo)

With a projected annual growth rate of 7%, India has the potential to be the world’s fastest growing economy over the coming decade, surging ahead of its South Asian economic rival China that will continue to see a slowdown, according to Harvard researchers.

“India has the potential to be the fastest growing economy over the coming decade... India tops the global list for predicted annual growth rate for the coming decade at 7.0%,” new growth projections presented by researchers at the Centre for International Development (CID) at Harvard University showed.

“This far outpaces projections for its northern neighbour and economic rival, China, which the researchers expect to face a continued slowdown to 4.3% growth annually to 2024, the report said.

South Asia and East Africa have the greatest potential for “rapid growth” as oil economies and other commodity-driven economies face the slowest growth outlook, it said.

“India has made important gains in productive capabilities, allowing it to diversify its exports into more complex products, including pharmaceuticals, vehicles, even electronics,” said Ricardo Hausmann, Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School and CID director.

Hausmann noted that these gains in economic complexity have historically translated into higher incomes.

“China has already realised many of these gains, doubling per capita income in less than a decade. We expect that India’s recent gains in complexity, coupled with its ability to continue improving it will drive higher incomes, positioning India to lead global economic growth over the coming decade,” he said.

The CID data predicted that growth in emerging markets will continue to outpace that of advanced economies, though the gap is closing. CID is also bullish on East Africa, with Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya ranking in the top 10 -- all predicted to grow at least 5.5% annually.

The growth forecast also looks favourably on Southeast Asia, where the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam look to drive growth well above global averages.

Growth in advanced economies remains slow by comparison, though it has risen slightly in the projections in recent years.

The US is expected to grow at 2.8% annually to 2024, with higher growth predicted in the United Kingdom (3.2%) and Spain (3.4%), and slower growth in Italy (1.8%) and Germany (0.35%).

The United Nations has also predicted that India will continue to be the fastest growing economy in the world in 2016 and 2017, projected to grow by 7.3% next year and 7.5% the year after, amid a global order that will see persistent macroeconomic uncertainties, diminished trade flows and stagnant investment.

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