India to drive next decade: IMF

By agencies   |   Thursday, 22 September 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: A growing young population and opening economy will help India drive the next decade, the International Monetary Fund has noted.

It also revised India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate forecast by half a percentage point to 7.1 percent for 2005.

The report said, “If India continues to embrace globalization and reform, Indian imports could increasingly operate as a driver of global growth as it is one of a handful of economies forecast to have a growing working-age population over the next 10 years.”

The report also suggested that India should begin to play bigger role in the world economy. Painting a rosy picture, it said about 75-110 million youngsters will become employable over the next decade, adding government efforts to boost international trade links will also bear fruits in future.

It also forecast India’s exports to more than double by 2010 while imports will rise three times. The IMF said imports were growing at about 33 percent a year in 2003-2004, four times as fast as the 1990-2002 period.

The Washington based IMF said that India’s economy remains relatively insular despite growing its share of world output to 5.8 percent last year from 4.3 percent in 1990. in the last years, India accounted for just under a fifth of Asian growth and 10 percent of world growth, compared with 53 percent and 28 percent respectively for China.

“Much greater progress is needed in building infrastructure — especially in the energy sector, where India is forecast to experience rapid demand growth in the next two decades,” the report said.

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