The biggest two

China and India, accounting for 37.5 percent of the world's population, have today become major determinants of the direction of world affairs. With consistent economic growth rates and an increasing pool of talent, some economists project that these two countries will eventually come to monopolise the international economy. Another view, however, holds that there are too many internal problems lurking under the surface within both of these massive economies, which will make it impossible for them to topple the West in terms of its business leadership, at least in the medium term. Correctly predicting the evolution ahead will, clearly, become of increasing importance for governments and corporations around the world.

In Chindia, Peter Engardio, an editor for Business Week, offers a collection of perceptive comparisons and contrasts between these two economies. The compendium (most published previously by Engardio's employer) provides an important historical backdrop to these jointly rising economies; as well as an analysis of their industrial strengths, such as their massive working population, and their infrastructural weaknesses, including the political chaos in certain parts of both countries. From these assessments, the generalisation emerges that India's democratic political system appears to make it a better commercial hub, while China is seen to have built superior, more-efficient production facilities.

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Himal Southasian