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'India can beat China by 2020'

April 09, 2004 18:33 IST

With an additional workforce of 47 million likely by 2020, Indian economy by then may surge ahead of China whose 'working' populace is estimated to fall by a massive 10 million workers in the next 15 years, experts at a seminar said in New Delhi.

"By 2020, the United States will have 17 million lesser people in the working age-group than at present. The fall in China and Japan will be 10 million and 9 million, respectively," M J Saxena, general manager, Dabur Ayurvet, said at a symposium organised by the Rai Business School.

He said India will have a clear edge over these economic powerhouses and the 'tiger' will certainly overpower the 'dragon.'

Addressing the symposium on 'Can India surge ahead of China?' he said, even though India ranks higher in the microeconomic index, China with its huge investments in infrastructure and a highly liberal industrial policy and has attracted much more foreign direct investment.

"Major FDI in China is being made by the Chinese expatriates. It is time, we also facilitate FDI inflow and do away with our apprehensions about foreign investors," K K Muthu, former President Delhi Management Association said.

Although a good monsoon has helped India attain 10.4 per cent GDP in third quarter of 2003-04, participants still felt that potential in the agriculture sector was untapped.

"We have a history of overprotected agriculture. To surpass China, this sector -- which is the backbone of our economy -- will have to evolve and learn to grow without the government's assistance," Saxena said.

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