On way to double-digit growth rate

India is poised to become a world force, analysts at the WEF have said.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2006 17:57 IST

India is well on the road to becoming an economic superpower and may emerge to equal China as the focus of the world's attention, a panel of analysts said at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos.

"Sustained economic growth rates, rising exports and imports and improvement in the quality of life have put India on the way to being a world force," James F Hoge, the editor of Foreign Affairs magazine said on Wednesday.

He said India might soon have double-digit growth rates.

Aart J de Geus, chairman and CEO of the US's Synopsis, said he believed that India and China would have huge future markets and an enormous impact on the West.

Indian business leaders acknowledged the independent confirmation of what they already believed, and laid down what they see as the reasons for the growth.

"India has gone from having a colonial complex and suffering from lack of self-esteem to having ambitions to be the best in the world," said Anand G Mahindra, vice chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra, an Indian vehicle manufacturer.

R Seshasayee, managing director ofa vehicle manufacturing firm, Ashok Leyland, said innovation and competition had been muffled in India for the past 50 years but there were now great advantages.

Mahindra also challenged the common belief that in future "China will do the hardware and India will do the software", prompted by the massive growth of the software industry in India. "India will do both," he asserted.

However, all the panel members agreed that there would be more convergence than competition between China and India.

The issue of energy security and its importance to India was also raised.

However, Nand Khemka, chairman of the Sun Group of Companies in Britain, said the fact that the Indian economy grew by 7.5 to eight per cent in a period when oil prices doubled was proof that it was strong enough to withstand the increase.

First Published: Jan 26, 2006 15:58 IST