Regulars know that I am obsessed with solar power, rail transportation, and urbanization. Reserve your copy of the book today!
I had a chat with Daniel Altman the other day at my office and his blog at the International Herald Tribune has this entry today:
Can India grow without manufacturing? And if not, can India’s manufacturing grow without moving millions of people off the land and into cities? These are the questions I take on in today’s column.
India’s detour into information technology and back-office operations was a departure from the time-tested path for growth in Asian countries, which has traditionally depended on twin waves of industrialization and urbanization. Some of India’s leading economic figures think that India does need to move heavily into manufacturing, but that it can maintain its strong position in services along the way.
Here are some additional views from the people in the column:
Anand Mahindra, vice chairman of Mahindra Group – Even with India’s massive labor supply, competing with China will be difficult while Beijing maintains the yuan at a low rate of exchange. But the yuan is now appreciating, if slowly.
Kamal Nath, minister of commerce and industry – Competition will also come from Vietnam and Indonesia. In the meantime, negotiations in the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round, which was supposed to be a “development round,” are doing little to help developing countries like India.
Atanu Dey, chief economist of Netcore Solutions – India should invest hundreds of billions of dollars, if necessary, in electricity generated from solar energy. This electricity will provide the power for a high-speed rail network that could become an integral part of India’s infrastructure. [emphasis added]