China, India And The World
I mean I was born in India. This pertains to me. People who live on a dollar a day are people in my personal circle. I know quite a few of them: some of them have nicknames for me, from my homevillage.
BusinessWeek has come up with a fabulous story cluster around the big topics of the economic resurgence of the two Asian giants. But perspective has to be maintained. Look at the per capita income. The PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) for 2004 for China is $5,600. For India it is $3,100. Fro Nepal it is $1,500. I had to throw Nepal in because, well, I grew up in Nepal.
The same figure for the US is $40,100.
My point being it will be a while before India and China jump over to the $50,000 range.
But the GDP figures, adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity, are US $11.75 trillion, China $7.262 trillion and India $3.319 trillion. At that level the differences are less stark.
The 19th century was Britain's, the 20th was America's, this one is Asia's. Cisco's Scheinman: "We came to India for the costs, we stayed for the quality, and we're now investing for the innovation."
Africa could compete. Both India and China are living testimonies to economic unions and free trade. A China that were 20 different countries would be less efficient. Africa could compete by becoming a single economic unit, a single market. Snuff out civil wars, introduces democracies, and work towards becoming a single market. The recipe is no rocket science.