Friday, 24 June 2011

India the emerging superpower! Or is it???

Every week adds its own stock of stories that tell of India's rise to economic superpowerdom.

This week, Indigo - a relatively new domestic airline placed a huge order for 180 or so Airbus A320neo passenger planes, second only to AirAsia's order for 200 planes.

But also this week the Economist published a remarkably clever interactive map of India, replacing the names of the various states with their nearest country equivalents in annual GDP terms. So Uttar Pradesh for example - that huge (94,000 sq miles, 243,000 sq Km) and populous (2011 popn 200 million) is, in population terms, bigger than Pakistan, or even Brazil; but in GDP (103.5 Bn USD) terms the nearest equivalent is in fact tiny oil rich Qatar, population 2 million.

Carrying on in this vein, Andhra Pradesh becomes Slovakia, Maharashtra is Singapore, Madhya Pradesh is Guatemala, Tamil Nadu is equivalent to Angola.And the industrial power house state of Gujarat, with the worlds largest petrochemical complex, is in reality the equivalent of Angola.

Fascinating stuff. The map is far more impressive than dry statistics of GDP per person.

No doubt India is advancing economically at a pace only just overtaken by China, but that growth is nowhere near fast enough, or sufficiently evenly spread, to lift the vast bulk of the poor out of poverty any time soon.

A sobering thought.

PS. The GDP figures are based on Purchasing power parity conversions of rupees into dollars.

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