China and India, currently the two most widely discussed countries of Asia are considered to be the wings of Asian economic take off. The first one is a country with plenty of economic opportunities for the developed countries, who try to maximise exports to China and invest massively in it. Nevertheless, it has recently become the country most feared by Western governments, since its overwhelming industrial exports already seem to flood the corresponding markets of the US and EU, thus limiting internal creation of industrial employment in the West. With a certain delay, India has recently begun to attract attention, mainly due to the shooting up of its exports of IT services, while its current economic position seems to be as promising as that of China in the first half of the '90s. Recent long term econometric projections point out that these two countries, which have today a potential growth capacity as no other country has had in history, could, in half a century, be at the top of economic and political power alongside the US. Alternatively, other approaches focussing on the low levels of their micro-welfare indicators as well as on their internal political problems (such as the pending transit to democracy in China and the possible arrest or cooling down of reforms in India) predict difficult times ahead for the continuation of their currently high GDP growth rates.
Rita Dulci Rahman is a diplomat for the Netherlands government with 26 years of experience in international relations who has published more than 30 articles on international relations. She has also taught at the University of Leiden. Jose Miguel Andreu is a professor of economics at the University of Sevilla, an advisor to the African Development Bank, and the author of numerous articles on Spanish and international economic matters. He has also served as a Spanish diplomat to India and has taught at Basque Country University, the University of Alcala de Henares, and the Open University of Spain.