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The Rise of the Elephant and Dragon

September 13, 2007

On the streets of India, Robyn Meredith still finds animals pulling carts loaded with construction materials, and monkeys racing across roads, dodging cars. The Forbes magazine writer also talks about China where men in Mao jackets pedal bicycles along newly built highways, past skyscrapers sprouting like bamboo. Yet India is as near as the voice answering an 800 number for one dollar an hour, says Meredith, the author of the much discussed book The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means for All of Us.

Communist China, Meredith, left, points out, is as close as the nearest Wal-Mart, its shelves filled with Chinese-made goods.

In her book, Meredith, senior editor, Asia, at Forbes, discusses how China and India have spurred a new gold rush, and what this means for the rest of the world.

She made her name at the American Banker exposing insider deals in savings and loans that led to four Congressional hearings and an overhaul of US banking regulations governing initial public offerings.

Meredith, who covers India and China for Forbes, challenges conventional wisdom in her book, arguing that the US shouldn't fear these two rising economic powers. Though American politicians tax Chinese goods, she points out that Americans actually gain from the undervalued yuan. For, American companies profit from the inexpensive goods the Chinese manufacture. There is also no need to fear that India has picked up most of the one million white-collar jobs that moved out of the US, she argues. For every dollar that goes overseas, $1.94 of wealth is created, all but 33 cents of which returns to America.

The journalist and author discusses India and China's potential with Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais.

Also read: Why the world must watch out for India, China

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