India to be among top nations by 2025

Updated on Jan 20, 2006 12:31 PM IST

"Shell Global scenarios to 2025", compiled by Royal Dutch Shell, calls India's young population and strong institutions as its drivers of growth.

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None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Brussels

India will by 2025 emerge as one of the foremost nations in the world politically and economically, according to a global scenario report compiled by leading energy company Royal Dutch Shell.

The report, titled "Shell Global scenarios to 2025", highlights India's young population, vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and strong institutions as its drivers of growth.

"India has been much more efficient than China at using capital. China has invested twice as much as India over 10 years and yet only achieved an average growth rate that is about 50 percent higher than India's," it says, according to INEP agency.

However, it also points out the need for economic reform and infrastructure investment to enable a structural shift to agricultural output to higher value items, growth of manufacturing and leadership in IT services.

"China is 10 years ahead of India but India is catching up," said Jeroen Van Der Veer chief executive of Shell, while presenting the report in Brussels last week.

"An India that is far more prosperous and equitable in 2025 than it is today must be one in which both the manufacturing and especially the agriculture sector have modernised."

The report, which views India's economic development favourably, stresses that India's complex democracy and the social factors revolving around its ethnic and religious diversity might hinder and slow down the implementation of a countrywide economic reform policy and lead to economic disparities between various states.

"With the liberalisation of the Indian economy certain western and southern states with a better geographical location and social harmony have grown much faster than hinterland states in North India," it says.

The report, which has drawn its analysis based on its 'jet stream' concept of long-term predetermined trends, uncertainties and forces, defines India's international aspirations as "soft and pragmatic approach - on the international stage through her economic, democratic and cultural achievements and on the regional stage to also be a military power to maintain a balance vis-a-vis China."

The report that projects that India could sustain a growth rate of seven percent till 2025 says that "unless economic policies and aspirations of the downtrodden groups are aligned economic growth will never reach the heights achieved by China".

Nevertheless, it states, in the next two decades India will be distinguished by its rapid economic growth, the consequent lifting out of poverty of millions and its democracy and pluralism.

"All these traits will make her a beacon to many other developing nations, thereby providing very significant variety in a world where the US and China are essential sources of change".

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