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Will India Catch Up with China?

A Chinese scholar has argued India doesn’t possess the key advantages that have contributed to China’s economic rise in the past few decades

By Han Bingbin Updated Sept.12

India doesn’t appear to have the key advantages that have contributed to China’s economic rise over the past few decades, according to Zheng Yongnian, academic chair of the Institute for Public Policy at South China University of Technology.

Being only slightly lower than that of China and other manufacturing powerhouses, India’s labor costs don't constitute a significant competitive edge, the scholar told the institute's website. 

Chinese mobile phone manufacturers opt to build their factories in India not because there are additional profits to pursue but rather due to the Indian government’s high taxation on imported mobile phones, he said. Zheng also claimed that the people of India aspire less to wealth than the Chinese, whose prosperity-driven diligence is a key factor behind the country’s economic miracle.  

The scholar also believes India lacks an entrepreneurial class to back up the growth of national industries. Chinese entrepreneurs are instilled with a strong national pride that encourages them to work toward a greater cause, Zheng asserted. On the other hand, India's colonial legacy has given rise to larger number of professionals than business starters, he said.