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Did he forget about India?

Here is an interesting speech by Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of IMF. The speech is insightful, giving a comprehensive look on the global economic outlook and outlining some key issues.

But I couldn’t help but notice this:

“It is no longer news that the world economy performed very well in 2004, with possibly the highest rate of expansion in nearly 30 years. The impressive growth of such countries as the United States and China is well-known.”

He goes on to talk about the “undue dependence of global growth on US and China” and he even mentions Europe and Japan.

Why would he not even mention India in his entire speech, when we had chalked up a GDP growth rate of 4.6% in 2004, while US GDP growth rate was 2.9%. And its not just in 2004. In 2002 and 2003, India’s GDP growth rates were 5 and 8% respectively while US was 2% and 3%.

Posted in India on April 9, 2005

2 Responses

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  1. surreal reality says

    The fact that the school he was addressing does not have a centre for South Asian studies may have played a pivotal role.

    For some reason the IMF seems to have learnt nothing from the Asian Financial Crisis. They still harp on the postulates laid down in the Washington Consensus. Its American-centric capitalistic approach towards development sickens me. “The IMF is the natural forum for multilateral cooperation to promote stability and growth in the global economy”. Multilateral? *phoey*

    “Prudent macroeconomic policies and strong institutions will also be key”. That sentence just seems to have been inserted to save himself from Stiglitz’s wrath!

    “By some estimates, freeing up merchandize trade and removing all agricultural subsidies could generate gains of up to $280 billion by 2015, with a disproportionately high share of these gains going to developing countries”. Very impressive Sir! Doha and Cancun ended in disaster because of the Agricultural protectionism issues. Please convince the US lobby groups to cut down on the subsidies and protective tariffs… then we shall talk about who gains what… and when..

    For the record, last week someone in class suggested policy making and agenda setting to be more participatory with developing counties having a say in the “multilateral” organisations, a Singaporean gentleman from the Trade Deparment ejaculated “Beggars can’t be choosers”..

    I will be the end of him… a beggar’s vow…

  2. Pramod says

    In one sense we (as in India/Indians) have to move beyond looking for external glorification. In a sense I will be happy if India is never mentioned in these circles – that we can concentrate more on developing ourselves rather than look at what needs to be done to improve our image better outside of India! (A very good example – the India shininig campaign by the previous govt.!)

    In fact I’d like not to see India becoming a superpower or 2nd or 3rd largest economy by 2015 or 2020. I’d rather like to hear leaders talk about really providing some of the stuff that our constitution promised way back in 1947 – universal education for example.

    No other country with the kind of economic power like India has the amount of abject poverty like India.

    Somehow we have to make it sexy for everyone to talk about the number of schools in their community and literacy rate and so on. There seem to be no competition for Kerala’s – somewhat superficial – achievement of 100% literacy. Or the claim of Kerala’s hospitals as some of the most child friendly in the world!

    I was recently watching the movie “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise. After his capture and being taken to the Japanese village – he takes in what he sees and he says – he is impressed by the discipline and the dedication to whatever one is doing. While he thinks this – the scene shows someone pouring tea. That moment I felt I realised what is missing in India. I don’t think we show that kind of dedication in anything we do. (Of course there are exceptions, but I am talking of everyone else here! – The film highlights the discipline and dedication of everyone else not the few exceptions. And I think this has something also to do with the story of Japanese rebuilding – how they managed to become the second largest economy in the world. Even for simple thigns like rice cultivation – they have highest yield anywhere in the world!)

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