India Is a Treasure House of Opportunity and So Is Europe; 24TUESDAY, JULY 8, 2014 WESTERN MAIL DAVID WILLIAMSON COLUMNIST David.Williamson@walesonline.Co.UK AMSON David.Williamson@walesonline.Co.UK William Hague and George Osborne Are on a Mission to Open Up the Riches of India, a Country Poised to Shape the World with Its Economic and Cultural Energy. David Williamson Asks What Happened to Tory Ambition for an Equally Dynamic EU
Byline: DAVID WILLIAMSON
LIKE adventures in which Superman and Batman join forces to save the world, when a country really needs a foreign policy success the Government dispatches two cabinet ministers.
Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague are on a mission to sell the UK to India.
A table has been turned and its legs point skywards. A former colonial power now realises that if Britain is to stand a chance of thriving economically in the decades ahead it needs to unlock the vast potential markets in a country that was once a colony.
is is a land of 1.2 billion people with a GDP of more than $5 trillion and the potential - and ambition - for extraordinary growth.
Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, knows he carries clout on the international stage and it will take more than a visit by two of Britain's most senior politicians to excite him. Building a new relationship with India will require time, respect, and unprecedented cooperation; if it is hard for Indians to get a British tourist, work or study visa we should not be surprised if they beat a path to Palo Alto.
While the UK has a GDP of around $2.5 trillion its population is less than 65 million. If India reaches UK-levels of productivity and personal wealth it would utterly eclipse Britain - and if it becomes an economic superpower it would not be long before it gains similar military might.
Endemic social divisions and enduring corruption have stopped India enjoying China's levels of growth but the millions of people who voted for Modi hope he will unclog the system and allow the country's rocket boosters to "re at full blast.
Despite its problems, India is democracy in Technicolor. If it can plot a path to true prosperity while preserving its traditions of civil liberties it will contrast sharply with China's authoritarianism and chart a grand path for other nations to follow.
But there is a second irony at work as Hague and Osborne pace the corridors of this emerging world power. e men can see the extraordinary economic potential of India's giant population - swathes of whom have embraced the challenges of the global digital economy. …