China News Agency, Beijing, August 16 (Reporter Li Xiaoyu) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently set an ambitious goal: to make India a developed country within 25 years.
But achieving this goal will not be easy.
Modi delivered a speech at a ceremony celebrating the 75th anniversary of India's independence on the 15th local time, saying that policies will be introduced to support the development of the country's power, defense and digital technologies. "In the next 25 years, India must become a developed country."
He also said that this determination should be achieved using all the power.
It is worth noting that, according to the estimates of the World Bank, India's current GDP ranking is still behind the United Kingdom, and it has not yet entered the ranks of middle- and high-income economies.
Analysts believe that the reason why India can have such ambitions may be based on many current favorable conditions.
From a domestic perspective, according to the United Nations' World Population Prospects 2022 report, India may surpass China in 2023 to become the most populous country in the world, and will maintain this position for decades to come.
More importantly, the average age of India's population is less than 29 years old, which is far lower than that of Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea, which are increasingly aging, and also lower than that of China.
If we can make full use of the many dividends of young people, India's economic and social development will undoubtedly gain significant momentum.
Hu Shisheng, director of the South Asia Institute of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that India has many advantages to achieve rapid economic development with the help of the digital economy, including huge population resources, information industry software and hardware conditions accumulated over the past 40 years, talent reserves and practices experience, etc.
From an international perspective, since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has been "seeking both sides". While purchasing a large amount of cheap oil from Russia, India-Russia economic and trade relations have continued to warm up, while cooperating with Europe and the United States, becoming one of the founding members of the so-called "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework". one.
In Hu Shisheng's view, the frequency, level and breadth of India's major-country diplomacy this year are rare since its independence in 1947. India is enjoying the best external environment since independence and seems to have become one of the important participants in the future world pattern. .
Although there are many favorable conditions, considering the many problems of India's economy to be solved, I am afraid that it still has a long way to go to become a developed country.
The main problem is that the advantage of India's large and young population can become a burden.
According to foreign media reports, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, India's GDP fell by 7%, the largest decline in any other major emerging economy.
Under the epidemic, the poverty rate in India has risen again after years of decline, and 270 million Indians still live in extreme poverty.
A large number of young people who are poor, lack job opportunities and have no social security may explode in dissatisfaction at any time, leading to social instability.
The lack of openness is also a concern.
For example, India ended up not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's most populous and largest free trade agreement today.
Zhang Jiadong, director of the Center for South Asian Studies at Fudan University, said that at a time when various free trade agreements that seek to reduce tariff rates as much as possible are emerging, India is bucking the trend of trade liberalization. from 13% to around 15% currently.
In addition, India often increases import tariffs on some special industries, which is not conducive to the competitiveness of Indian manufacturing in the long run.
Analysts believe that for India, strengthening cooperation with China may be a more feasible option to enhance competitiveness.
Due to different development stages, China and India are highly complementary in economic structure.
China has advantages in electromechanical, chemical and other industries, while India's strengths are more reflected in medicine, textiles, and electronic information products.
According to Chinese statistics, the bilateral trade volume between China and India in the first seven months of this year increased by 18% year-on-year, which was 7.6 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate of China's foreign trade in the same period. Among them, China's exports to India increased by 37% year-on-year.
Hu Shisheng said that if China and India can properly solve practical problems of common concern, manage and control differences, facilitate the stable and sustainable development of bilateral relations, and strengthen cooperation in the era of digital economy, perhaps the 21st century can truly become the "century of Asia".