October 1, 2008

YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET:

India: A Land on the March (Edwin Feulner, 9/30/08, Real Clear Politics)

As The Heritage Foundation's "Index of Economic Freedom" shows each year, more economic freedom (an open economy operating under the rule of law) generates more economic growth. That, in turn, means a higher income for the average person. This is exactly what's happening in India.

No, I wasn't dazzled by the high-tech centers of Hyderabad and Bangalore because I didn't have time to even visit them. But I did hear from private bankers, business leaders, educators and government officials. Their universal commitment to pushing reforms and investing further in the Indian economic miracle impressed me. For half a dozen years now, India has had a 7 percent to 9 percent real economic growth rate.

Yes, India faces daunting challenges. Almost half the population still relies on subsistence farming for its livelihood. Grinding poverty still afflicts the majority of its citizens. The caste system remains. But plenty of articulate, able and principled parliamentarians are shaking up the system.

India is a better place to do business than China, says U.S. Ambassador David Milford. It's true that the notorious Indian bureaucracy remains a stumbling block. But continuing reforms and the rule of law is making the country more business friendly and supportive of individual rights.

Those are just a few reasons why the United States is now India's largest trading partner ($42 billion last year alone) and the largest foreign investor in India. Meanwhile, Indian firms are now becoming worldwide companies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2008 2:39 PM
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