The World under Pressure: How China and India Are Influencing the Global Economy and Environment

By Carl J. Dahlman | Go to book overview

Preface

I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE of working on China and India for over 30 years, first as an economist at the World Bank for more than 25 years and then as a professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service for the last 6 years. During this period, I have visited each country more than 30 times and followed how they have transformed themselves from the most populous poor developing countries to major powers which are changing the global system. Their transformation has been spectacular. As will be developed in the book, the different speeds of their transformation and how far they have progressed are the result of their development strategies and the capabilities of their governments and populations.

In China, it has been largely because of a very shrewd government strategy that has managed an incredible shift from a state-controlled economy to a largely market-driven economy that is the most globally integrated large economy in the world in its participation in world trade. It is the more classic export-led development strategy based on exploiting its comparative advantage based on low labor cost. As a result, it has become a strong manufacturing center for the world.

In India, it has been largely because of a very dynamic private sector that has managed to become internationally competitive, initially in spite of government policy, although in the last 20 years government policy has become progressively more supportive. Its rapid growth is more recent and is due to a large extent to how its private sector has been able to exploit the potential of the information revolution—more specifically, the ability to provide services at a distance. As a result, it has become a global center for information-enabled services.

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