India could be the fastest growing economy in the world in the next ten years as the mass of economic activity shifts from the US and Europe to Asia entrusting greater responsibility on India in the new global economic world order, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday.
"The Indian economy will double in size in the next seven, certainly by 2020," former Brown told delegates at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
India's gross domestic product (GDP) is set to grow by 8.5% in 2010-11, and a 10% growth rate was achievable in the near term, Brown said during a special address Lessons from the Last Global Crisis.
"Your (India's) role at G-20 is absolutely critical. India is right at the centre of the discussions," Brown said.
"It is in India's interest that the world economy grows fast."
India has a crucial role to play in driving investment, trade and consumption to push growth in the world economy.
"It is a global story. I don't believe the economic crisis is over," Brown said.
Europe and the US are not in a position to grow at the pace for keeping unemployment low and raise prosperity.
On the bank credit crisis that pushed the world economy into the worst recession in 80 years, Brown said global leaders may have erred in gauging the magnitude of the problem.
"We assumed that the risks that the banks were taking were well diversified," Brown said.
National regulators were dealing with a global problem when the need of the hour was to have globally administered regulatory architecture, he said.
He said it won't be "honest" to talk about free market access, while adopting protectionist measures.
"America needs to double its exports to get out of the crisis," Brown said.
The former British Prime Minister said there was ample scope for consumption-driven growth in India.
The US and Europe together account for about 20% of the world's total consumption, while China accounts for about 3%, India's share in the total world consumption is less than 1%.
This mirrors that India has a long way to go in expanding consumption and the size of its middle-class, Brown said.
He said the more cooperation among nations were needed on critical issues of the world economy amid an irreversible shift of power from the US and Europe to Asia.
On the controversial decision to send British troops to Iraq, Brown said it was right thing to do as British forces withdrew after achieving the very specific objectives it had set out to accomplish.