MUMBAI, January 18, 2011- Asia Society President Vishakha Desai and Former President Robert Oxnam discussed the future of India and China at Rolling the Dice: India and China in 2025, a roundtable event hosted by Asia Society India Centre and Observer Research Foundation programme.
Desai spoke of the need for both countries to look beyond GDP when considering growth. Retention of culture and creative growth will further the development of these nations. She also stressed that both India and China must address the huge gap between the rich and poor.
Desai also highlighted key differences between India and China that are likely to impact the future of both countries. Namely, India's relatively young economy, China's historical perception of itself as a more unified country and its aging population.
Desai predicted that by 2025, 60 percent of India's population will live in urban areas. As a result, there will be a shift in rural to urban policy that will most likely result in the displacement of people. The issue will be heightened by India's democratic nature and its comparative inability to have a strong and central institution affecting this change.
Oxnam said the relationship between politics and economics has changed dramatically in Chinese history. Once disjointed, the two are closely linked today. He said that China has maintained its communist structure in part because of its economic success, crafting its own version of communism as it opened its economy along the way. He predicted an economic growth rate of eight to 12 percent for China until 2025.Desai and Oxnam underscored the need to understand developments in both India and China. They encouraged the nations to be more globally responsible while peacefully managing the shifts in power taking place.